The first thing to do after recognising that you have bursitis in whichever body part is to consult the house doctor. Primary-care physicians, family medicine doctor, general practitioners, internists, orthopedists, physiatrists, and rheumatologists can also help treating bursitis. In order to diagnose exactly the type of bursitis and its degree of development these doctor will usually take note about which movements or activities causes more or less pain. Besides, fluid from bursa may be removed and analised in order to detect if the bursitis is due to an infection, rheumatoid condition or trauma. Specially knee and elbow bursitis prone to infection. Removal of the fluid might alleviate some of the pain. Further, X-rays may be taken when any other disease is suspected such as fracture or dislocation. In the same way MRI and CT scans are obtained only to exclude other causes of illnesses. In order to rule out infection or other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, a blood test may be done.
Taking care of bursitis
The best thing to do against bursitis is to protect the affected body part. This can be done by padding specially if the damaged bursae is close to the surface of the skin such as the ankle and knee bursae. Besides, avoiding to move that body part and swimming may eliminate pain when that body part must be moved. Further using ice for approximately ten minutes at least twice a day and compressing the body part with an elastic bandage (specially used in knees and elbows) may be very effective in reducing inflammation and pain. In the same way elevating the affected body part above the heart will help you by keeping blood form pooling in that body part. Last, the regular intake of pain killers will also help along the healing process.
Generally, treating bursitis takes three to four or until seven days until it is healed but if the bursa is infected the area may have to be drained with a needle evry three to five days until the infectious fluid does not return. Besides, antibiotics in pill form will be prescribed. If the infection is very serious, does not respond to oral antibiotics, or if the immune system is weakened for another reason, the patient may be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics. Anyway, most causes of infectious bursitis can be managed safely at home. In rare cases, a surgical operation to remove the bursa can be required.