Sports injuries: Bursitis and Tendinosis

Retired Hurt!

Bursitis and Tendinosis are common injuries that affect sports persons. Bursitis is seen less common than the latter. Bursitis and Tendinosis can curb the performance of the sports stars or put an end to their careers. They easily affect people who have to make rapid movements of the joints or those who have to twist or apply constant pressure to these areas. They cause pain and swelling in areas like legs, knees, hips, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Bursitis is an injury that occurs due to the overuse or constant pressure on a joint. The affected areas swell and redden with increased temperature. In simple terms, Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. A bursa refers to a small fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. It cushions the joint and helps with the joint glides. The bursa can get injured due to an injury, infection, old age or by the underlying rheumatic condition of the person. Bursitis develops quickly and is repetitive. People with activities like gardening, carpentry, shoveling, painting, scrubbing, tennis, golf, skiing, throwing, and pitching are at a great risk of developing Bursitis. Your bursa can get injured also due to ignorance and negligence- incorrect postures during activities or not doing stretching before physical activities. People with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes, thyroid diseases etc. also are susceptible to tendon injuries.

When a tendon is inflamed or irritated the condition is referred to as Tendinitis. Tendons are thick rope like fibers which connect muscles to bones. Tendinitis aggravates into Tendinosis. Tendinosis occurs due to the wear and tear of tendons which do not heal. Most commonly found in middle aged people and elders, Tendinosis can develop at any age in relation to an injury of the tendons. If your hips ache as you climb stairs or as you rise from a chair then you probably have Bursitis or Tendinosis. It has symptoms similar to those of Bursitis. Tendinosis patients suffer from severe pain as they move their affected joints. Some may also have a lump formed in the area.

  1. If you have Bursitis or Tendinosis the best thing to do is to stop the physical activity for a while until you get better.
  2. Give adequate rest to yourself and change your way of doing the activity. It is also important to remember that the condition might still be there even if the pain has subsided. So healing time is important.
  3. If you start the activity again, do it slowly and for shorter periods. You can try increasing the duration gradually if it does not pain anymore.
  4. Ice packs for 10-15 minutes usually make you feel better.
  5. Applying heat for 15-20 minutes will relieve you of pain.
  6. Find out an exercise that suits the condition best, that is the exercise should not give you any pain at the same time it should serve to strengthen the muscles around the joint. For elbow or shoulder injury swinging exercise or pendulum exercise works well.
  7. Physical therapy may help.
  8. Take anti-inflammatory pills.
  9. Avoid pressure on your joints by taking necessary precautions. Ex: Use a cushion as you kneel down.
  10. Remember to warm up before exercise.

Now you know why you need to warm up and stretch before beginning an exercise.

Aparna K V

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