Synovitis


Definition - What does Synovitis mean?

Synovitis is a painful condition that is caused by an inflammation of the synovial membrane, or synovium. Synovial tissue lines the joints and tendons of the body to cushion and smooth movement. When inflamed the resultant swelling and fluid build-up impairs motion of the joints. Synovitis can be caused by injury or overuse of a joint during completion of job duties.

WorkplaceTesting explains Synovitis

Synovitis is a joint disease often associated with conditions such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. This inflammation of the synovial membrane can also be caused by trauma to, or overuse of, a joint. When synovitis occurs, the tissue becomes inflamed or irritated and swells. This swelling then interferes with the normal performance of the joint and surrounding tissue.

The fluid of the synovium also carries nutrients to nearby cartilage. Leaks caused by damage to the synovial membrane may prevent these nutrients from being delivered, resulting in damage to the cartilage.

Repetitive motion can sometimes impair the body's ability to produce synovial fluid. When this occurs, further friction at the point of contact between bones, joints, and tendons can lead to inflammation and swelling. Over time, fibrous tissue may develop at these points of friction, further limiting movement and exacerbating the inflammation. This inflammation within and around a tendon sheath is referred to as tenosynovitis. If the inflammation involves the bursa, it is called bursitis.

Rest breaks, ergonomically sound work practices, and informed job design should all be incorporated to prevent the development of synovitis.

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