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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Bursitis

People with bursitis turn to the team at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) for expert care. We offer the full range of bursitis treatment options, including chiropractic treatment, pain medication and surgical drainage, to get you the relief you need.

Bursitis is a painful condition affecting the joints. Though usually temporary, bursitis can make everyday movements difficult. 

At LVHN, our team has expertise in diagnosing and treating bursitis. We discuss all of your treatment options with you, including chiropractic medicine, steroid injections and surgical drainage. Together, we determine the most effective solution for you and get you back to enjoying your regular activities.

What is bursitis?

The bursa are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the muscles and tendons near the joints. In bursitis, these sacs become swollen and painful. Bursitis often affects the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip or foot.

Causes of bursitis

Bursitis affects people of all ages and activity levels. Common causes of bursitis include:

Bursitis symptoms 

For most people, bursitis causes symptoms including:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling and redness

Symptoms of chronic bursitis include repeated attacks of pain, swelling and tenderness, which can lead to muscle deterioration and limited range of motion.

Why choose LVHN for bursitis treatment?

When you come to LVHN, you benefit from our:

  • Expert diagnosis: Our team has years of experience providing precise diagnoses for bone, joint and muscle problems.
  • Full range of treatment: We offer all types of treatment, from nonsurgical methods to surgical drainage or removal of the bursa.
  • Customized care: We get to know you as an individual. We consider your preferences and lifestyle when tailoring your treatment plan.  

Bursitis diagnosis

Our team has the skills and experience to get you a precise diagnosis. Diagnostic tests include:

  • Physical examination: We examine your injured joint’s full range of motion and push lightly on the skin surrounding the joint.
  • Fine needle aspiration: Using a long, thin needle, your doctor removes fluid from the swollen bursa, which is then analyzed in our laboratory to rule out other medical conditions. 
  • Blood tests: These tests can help us confirm or rule out other conditions.
  • Imaging tests: We get detailed images of your joints using advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray.  These tests help your doctor identify any problems. 

Aseptic bursitis treatment

When there’s no infection in the affected joint, your treatment may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medications
  • Rest
  • Ice followed by heat
  • Elevating the injured joint
  • Cortisone injections to ease pain and swelling
  • Gentle exercise to improve blood flow and range of motion
  • Chiropractic medicine 

Septic bursitis treatment

If your swollen joint is infected, your treatment may include:

  • Antibiotic medications
  • Removing the inflamed fluid using fine needle aspiration  
  • Surgically draining or removing the infected bursa

Chiropractic medicine

We offer a full range of chiropractic services for problems of the bones, joints and spine.

Find chiropractic care near you