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Can Bursitis Cause Numbness?



Bursitis, regardless of where it is located in the body, can cause numbness due to nerve impingement and pressure.

More Info: Bursitis occurs when the bursa, which is a small, fluid-filled sac, becomes irritated or inflamed. The swelling and inflammation put excess pressure by impinging on the nerves. This can lead to numbness in the extremities. For example, bursitis in the shoulder or elbow may cause numbness in the hands or fingers. Bursitis in the hip or knee might cause numbness in the legs and even down to the feet and toes.

Symptoms of Bursitis

Bursitis causes discomfort and pain and can limit joint movement as well. The bursa is what prevents friction between the tendons and the bone. When repetitive movements or constant pressure is applied for extended periods of time, the bursa will become aggravated and can swell, causing mild to severe discomfort.

Bursitis usually flares up when the affected joint is used repetitively. As a result of the nerve impingement, caused by the swelling bursa, numbness and tingling may be experienced.

How to Treat and Prevent Bursitis

Keeping the surrounding tendons loose and well stretched can treat bursitis. Additionally, avoid long periods of joint compression. Possible solutions include resting from activities that cause inflammation or changing environmental factors such as adding seat cushions to certain chairs and investing in a special foam mattress.

These same strategies can be used to prevent bursitis as well. If bursitis is present, it should be treated immediately to avoid any further complications such as scar tissue. Flexibility training is a priority.



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Lauder, MD, Tamara D. . “Musculoskeletal disorders that frequently mimic radiculopathy.” Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 13 (2002): 469-485. Print.

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis.” MedScape. National Institute of Health, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2010.

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