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Bursitis Symptoms Can Resemble Tendonitis

Bursitis is most commonly associated with the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. But bursitis can also occur in the foot and near the Achilles tendon.

A bursa is a small sac of fluid that cushions and lubricates certain areas where bones, tendons, muscles or ligaments rub together. When this sac becomes swollen and painful, bursitis is the result.

Causes and Symptoms of Bursitis

Bursitis can be caused by overuse and repetitive motions, such as when gardening, cooking and typing on a keyboard. This painful inflammation can also result when you spend long periods of time applying pressure to an area of the body – for example, in certain professions like gardeners, carpet layers, roofers and professional athletes.

Simple aging can break down the bursa over time. An injury can trigger an episode of bursitis, as can other conditions like an infection or arthritis.

Symptoms of bursitis at the area include:

  • Tenderness and stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Warm and red skin

The signs of bursitis can resemble those of tendonitis, a tendon injury accompanied by inflammation. If you have any of these symptoms, please visit Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, for an accurate diagnosis. Be sure to call us if the pain becomes severe, if you have a fever or if the painful area becomes very hot to the touch.

Treating Bursitis

To relieve the pain and swelling of bursitis, our treatments include:

  • Rest and ease up on your regular activities.
  • Apply ice to the painful area 2 times each hour for 3 days.
  • Ease stiffness by performing gentle range-of-motion stretches. Later, strengthening exercises can be added.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, taken with your doctor’s permission, can relieve inflammation and pain.

You should avoid smoking until your bursitis is healed as smoking will delay tissue healing.

When you are cleared to resume your normal activities, begin gradually and be sure to warm up and stretch. If your pain resumes, take a break and use ice to reduce any swelling.

It is possible to prevent bursitis. If you must do repeated motion tasks, vary your technique by switching hands and moving your body position. Always wear supportive, well-fitting shoes to help cushion your foot joints.

Let Us Help with Any Foot, Toe or Ankle Pain

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat any type of toe, foot, heel or ankle pain. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. You don’t have to live with foot pain – get help fast!