What Happens if Bursitis Isn’t Treated?

Bursitis is a painful condition that affects many people, causing joint pain and swelling. It can occur in the shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, and other joints. Bursitis is more common in older people, but the good news is that treatment is possible. But what happens if bursitis isn’t treated? And can a chiropractor in Huntsville, Texas help with this condition?

What Is Bursitis?

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs that cushion and lubricate the joints in your body. This condition can develop in any joint, but it is most common in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.

Bursitis is often caused by repetitive motions or overuse of a joint, but injury, other conditions, or infection can also trigger it. Other risk factors include surgery, bone spurs, calcium deposits, old age, obesity, and other factors.

The most common bursitis symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joint. In addition, some people experience tenderness to touch or pain when they move the joint. 

Bursitis is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the bursae, causing pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joint.

Bursitis Complications

If bursitis is not treated, it can lead to several negative consequences. That includes:

Persistent Pain and Swelling

The inflammation caused by bursitis can lead to ongoing pain and swelling in the affected joint. That can make it difficult to move the joint, stopping you from doing certain activities. If the pain gets too intense, you may avoid using the affected joint, which often results in decreased mobility.

Joint Damage

If you don’t seek appropriate treatment, bursitis can cause cartilage erosion and scar tissue formation. This leads to joint damage that usually increases bursitis intensity, making the pain and stiffness worse. As a result, you’ll find it more difficult to move your joint, which will seriously limit your flexibility.

Decreased Range of Motion

As bursitis progresses, the joint usually becomes stiff and inflexible, which severely limits your range of motion. As a result, performing everyday activities becomes more challenging, so you may even have trouble walking, climbing stairs, and reaching for objects. Not to mention that you won’t be able to participate in sports and other activities.

Muscle Atrophy

When your joint is painful, you avoid physical activities and anything that may aggravate the pain. As a result, your surrounding muscles become weaker, which may lead to muscle atrophy. That’s why it is vital to find low-impact exercises to help you remain active.


In rare cases, untreated bursitis can lead to infection, causing further inflammation and joint damage. If this occurs, you’ll probably need antibiotics or surgery to treat the condition successfully.

Not seeking proper treatment for bursitis can lead to complications like chronic pain, swelling, joint damage, decreased range of motion, muscle atrophy, and even infection in rare cases.

How Is Bursitis Treated?

The exact course of bursitis treatment depends on symptom severity and other factors. The most common treatment options are:

  • Rest – It is crucial to rest the affected joint and allow the inflammation to decrease. That means you’ll need to avoid activities that put pressure on the joint or use a splint or brace for support.
  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy helps to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint and improve the range of motion. Your physical therapist will recommend exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and techniques to help reduce inflammation.
  • Medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Depending on the symptom severity, your healthcare provider may also prescribe corticosteroid injections or other medications to help reduce inflammation in the joint.
  • Ice therapy – Applying an ice pack to the affected joint helps reduce inflammation and swelling. This can alleviate the pain and prevent further degradation of the joint.

Bursitis treatment may include rest, physical therapy, medication, ice therapy, and other approaches.

Chiropractic Care for Bursitis

Chiropractic care can help people deal with bursitis symptoms through different treatment options. That includes chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, heat and ice therapy, and strengthening exercises. These modalities focus on restoring natural alignment, strengthening the muscles, and boosting the healing process.

If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Huntsville, Texas, Dr. Jeffrey Pruski from the Joint & Spine Center can help you. Dr. Pruski and his team are well-versed in using chiropractic care and regenerative medicine to help alleviate bursitis symptoms. That way, you can overcome this painful condition without using surgery.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pruski and discover how we can help you live without pain.

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