How can I tell the difference between arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis?

Aches and pains may be a natural part of the aging process, but they do not have to prevent you from participating in the activities you enjoy. Joint pain can be frustrating, worrisome, and even threaten the healthy function of the knees, hips, elbows, and fingers. When pain and discomfort threaten mobility, who should you turn to for help?

When patients seek guidance for arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis, EmergeOrtho physicians are here to help. EmergeOrtho subspeciality orthopedic doctors are leaders in their field. Our board certified and fellowship trained, EmergeOrtho specialists are dedicated to the precision diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of multiple conditions.

How can I tell the difference between arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis?

At first glance, arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis have many similarities. All conditions can severely limit your activities and cause debilitating pain. Despite their commonalities, the diagnoses are different, take a look:

A tendon is a band of tissue that connects muscle to bone. When the tendon becomes inflamed, the diagnosis is tendinitis. This condition is most commonly the result of overuse during physical activities. Repetitive motions can stretch and irritate the tendon, causing pain and swelling. tendinitis occurs around joints such as the elbow, shoulder, wrist, ankle, or knee.

An older woman seeks help from an orthopedic knee specialist to address her pain in a medical office.

Arthritis degeneration (wear and tear) of the smooth cartilage in your joints. The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, can affect any joint in the body, but most often affects the knees, hips, shoulders and fingers. Most people will develop osteoarthritis as a result of normal wear and tear on the joints over time.

Joints contain cartilage, a rubbery material that cushions the ends of bones and facilitates movement. When time-related corrosion or injury impacts the cartilage the bones of the joint start rubbing together. As bones rub together, bone spurs may form and the joint becomes stiff after long periods of activity or inactivity.

Bursitis is a condition that results from the inflammation of the bursae. The bursae cushion the bones, muscles, and tendons near the joints. People most commonly experience bursitis in the shoulder, hip, and elbow. Other types of bursitis can affect the knee, heel, and base of the big toe.

Next Steps: Identifying the Source of Your Joint Pain

When our patients experience knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle joint pain they need a reliable, convenient, and effective solution. A proper diagnosis is vital to establish a safe and customizable treatment plan. EmergeOrtho has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and techniques to enable precision diagnosis.

Our orthopedic specialists have spent decades treating patients with all types of joint conditions and injuries. Arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis all have a variety of treatment options ranging from conservative options to surgical intervention to relieve pain.

EmergeOrtho is a physician-owned subspecialty orthopedic practice that strives to provide cost-effective, efficient and sophisticated care.

Get pain relief now; request an appointment with one of our EmergeOrtho specialists. Or, call us any time at (919) 220-5255 for more information regarding the diagnosis of arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.

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