Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

The Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation and Social Security Disability Group of Sellers, Ayers, Dortch and Lyons.

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Know the signs and symptoms of bursitis

Construction work is hard on the joints. For some workers, the job puts so much strain on them that they start to experience problems, such as bursitis.

This is a painful condition that can make it difficult or impossible to use the affected joint. Even though this condition is likely going to get better on its own, you might need medical care to help the process.

Signs and symptoms of bursitis

Bursitis can cause the affected joint to feel achy and stiff. It might look red and could be more painful if you press on it. In some cases, this condition can prevent movement in the joint. You might also experience shooting pains or extreme swelling. More serious symptoms do require immediate medical care.

Most commonly affected joints

The most commonly affected joints include the hip, shoulder and elbow. Other joints, even the base of the big toe, can be impacted by this condition. The tie that binds all of these together is that the joints are moved repetitively. Bursitis is also associated with pressure being put on the bursae, which is the fluid-filled sac that helps to protect the joint's structures.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of bursitis is done through imaging tests and a physical exam. Going through therapy is necessary for some patients. Almost all patients will get medications to help reduce the inflammation in the bursae and to help control pain. If these are narcotics, it might impact a person's ability to safely do one's job. Corticosteroid injections and assistive devices might also help. The most severe cases of bursitis could require surgery.

In addition to the medical treatments, it is usually recommended that you take time to allow the affected joint rest as it heals. You should use proper techniques in the future to prevent bursitis flare-ups. These include using knee pads if you are spending a lot of time on your knees, such as if you work in flooring, and using devices like wheelbarrows to lift heavy loads. Regular exercise and stretching before you go to work can also help.

When bursitis is severe and you need to take time off of work, you might find that your finances suffer. Filing for workers' compensation might help you to deal with the financial blow and get medical care coverage to reduce the impact the condition has your bank account.

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