Do you have bursitis? Do you think it’s related to your job? We can likely help. We are experienced Illinois work injury lawyers. If you want to speak with a lawyer for free, you can contact us any time at 888-795-1766.
There isn’t any type of injury that we haven’t seen or helped with in the last 20 plus years. Most types of injuries refer to a specific body part. Some, like bursitis, can happen all over the body. Here is a general overview of bursitis and how it relates to Illinois work comp cases.
What is bursitis?
Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae (plural of bursa). These sacs protect areas where bone would otherwise rub on muscle, tendons, or skin. This cushioning decreases rubbing, friction, and inflammation. But when a bursa becomes irritated and inflamed by overuse of excess pressure, bursitis occurs.
Where in the body does bursitis commonly occur?
Although there are over 150 bursae in the human body, a person is most likely to develop bursitis in the shoulder, elbow, and hip. Bursitis commonly occurs near joints that engage in repetitive motion. Here are the common bursitis locations with their medical name (according to my.clevelandclinic.org):
- Shoulders: subacromial bursitis.
- Elbows: olecranon bursitis, sometimes called miner’s or barfly’s elbow.
- Knees: prepatellar bursitis or housemaid’s knee.
- Hips: iliopectineal or trochanteric bursitis.
- Buttocks: ischial bursitis or weaver’s bottom.
- Feet: name varies based on if bursitis is in the big toe, heel, or ball of the foot.
What are the symptoms of bursitis?
Pain is the main symptom of bursitis. The pain from an inflamed bursa may build up over time or come on suddenly. The affected joint may feel achy and stiff. Moving or pressing on the joint may cause it to hurt more. The area might appear red and swollen. Less common (and more severe) symptoms that should be addressed immediately include the inability to move a joint, sharp or disabling joint pain, or a fever.
What are the causes of bursitis? What occupations see workers affected by it?
As we mentioned, bursitis is commonly caused by repetitive motions or repeatedly being in certain positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. We help employees with workers compensation claims that suffer from bursitis due to: lifting things over their heads repeatedly, leaning on their elbows for extended periods of time, and kneeling day in and day out. You might be prone to bursitis if your job involves the following: laying carpet, setting tile, refinishing floors, gardening, painting, or lifting boxes. But really it can be any industry and any type of job activity potentially.
How does a doctor diagnose bursitis?
Doctors will inquire about a patient’s medical history and perform a physical exam. If further testing is needed to confirm a bursitis diagnosis, it might include:
- X-rays (to rule out other causes of your discomfort)
- Ultrasound or MRI to detect swollen bursae
- Blood test to see if there’s an infection
- Taking a sample of fluid from the bursae, if there is an infection
How is bursitis treated?
In many cases, bursitis gets better on its own. Resting and icing the affected area, as well as taking a pain reliever, often work. However, if pain persists, other treatments might be required including:
- Medication to treat an infection if that is the cause of the inflammation in your bursa.
- Physical therapy or exercises to strengthen the muscles, ease the pain and prevent it from coming back.
- An injection of a corticosteroid drug into the bursa to relieve inflammation in your shoulder or hip.
- Use of a walking cane or another assistive device to temporarily relieve pressure.
- Surgery to drain an inflamed bursa.
If you are suffering from bursitis related to your job, we would love to speak with you to answer any questions you have and/or help you get the best lawyer for your case. We cover all of Illinois and promise to treat you like a family member or friend.