By | June 10, 2022

Synovitis is a painful phenomenon that can occur especially in old age or in the case of long-term stress. Above all, synovitis becomes noticeable when tendons, joints or muscles are affected or are permanently under strain without regeneration phases.

What is synovitis?

Doctors call synovitis (or synovitis ) an inflammation of the mucous membranes that line tendon sheaths, joints and bursa from the inside. The mucous membrane produces a certain amount of fluid, which ensures that there is a friction-free movement between the bony structures. For what is hypoxemia, please visit

Inflammation of the mucous membrane can develop as a result of permanent pressure stress, which occurs, for example, during work or as part of sporting activities (kneeling positions are beneficial). The inflammation can also spread to the connective tissue and bony structures; as part of that expansion, acute synovitis can mutate into chronic synovitis.


Above all, people who do most of their work on their knees (e.g. cleaning staff or tilers) are mainly affected by synovitis. Sometimes athletes also complain about corresponding complaints, whereby the synovitis often takes a chronic course. The chronic course of synovitis occurs when, in the context of acute forms, there is no recovery and training continues or the joints that cause pain are not spared.

Older people, whose regenerative abilities are already limited and sometimes already have a higher degree of wear and tear on their joints, usually suffer from synovitis. The painful synovitis also occurs with other inflammatory diseases, so that synovitis and arthritis are sometimes diagnosed, which are sometimes responsible for the symptoms.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

After excessive exertion (e.g. if he has overexerted himself during physical activity or participated in a sporting competition), the person concerned mainly complains of pain that is becoming more and more intense. The pain occurs in combination with restricted mobility.

Sometimes the affected limb may swell; as a result, reddening occurs in the region causing the pain. These symptoms arise due to the inflamed mucous membrane, since increased blood circulation is activated here. In the context of synovitis, fluid accumulates in the affected joints or joint capsules (e.g. in the knee joint), which are subsequently responsible for the fact that movement is restricted.

Diagnosis & course of disease

The doctor diagnoses synovitis when other inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, can be completely ruled out. For this reason, different examinations are usually carried out, so that on the one hand the diagnosis of synovitis can be confirmed and on the other hand diagnoses such as arthritis can be ruled out.

The problem is that – especially in old age – several diseases can trigger the classic symptoms of synovitis. Of course, there is also the possibility that synovitis remains undetected. Even at the beginning, the synovitis expresses itself with a “rubbing feeling”; the patient “waits” for relief, but notices that the joint continues to “rub”. As a result, pain, redness and swelling increase.

The doctor examines the affected joint. For this he uses the ultrasound device. The doctor can use ultrasound to determine whether synovitis is suspected. The course of the disease is mainly influenced by the activity of the affected person. Above all, tilers or cleaning staff, who mainly work in a squatting position or on their knees, are at risk of synovitis becoming so bad that even the articular cartilage is destroyed and the bones are subsequently attacked.


Synovitis usually occurs in combination with restricted mobility. As a result, the affected limb can swell and reddening and further pain can occur. Due to the accumulation of fluid in the affected joints, normal movement is usually no longer possible. Further complications can arise if concomitant arthritis has been diagnosed.

Bone density then decreases further as the disease progresses and the chances of healing the synovitis worsen. Under certain circumstances, chronic pain develops, combined with a decrease in the quality of life and the performance of the person concerned. This can lead to depressive moods and other mental illnesses that need to be treated separately. Surgical intervention can lead to bleeding, secondary bleeding and infection at the affected area.

Nerve injuries rarely occur, which can be associated with temporary restriction of movement and sensory disturbances. The operation can also cause further irritation of the affected region, which can make the synovitis even worse. Prescribed painkillers can cause side effects and interactions and trigger allergies. In the case of a longer illness, addictive behavior and, as a result, addiction may develop.

When should you go to the doctor?

A doctor is needed if the sufferer suffers from persistent pain. Irregularities in the tendons, joints or muscles must be examined and treated. If, after a restful night’s sleep or sufficient rest and rest, the symptoms are alleviated and recovery is achieved, in most cases there is no need to consult a doctor. In these situations, the body is overloaded, which heals independently through the natural regeneration processes.

In the case of recurring, persistent or increasing health impairments, a doctor is required. If there is only a slight improvement in well-being after a regeneration phase, this is not enough. Further examinations are necessary so that a diagnosis can be made by researching the causes. Restrictions in the general movement sequences, a decrease in the usual physical performance and irregularities in joint activity must be presented to a doctor.

Irritation, accumulation of fluids or swelling are considered signs of a health problem. A feeling of warmth near the joints, an increase in heart rate or reddening of the skin are symptoms that indicate synovitis. Since the affected person is threatened with a chronic disease if the disease progresses unfavorably, the symptoms should be addressed at an early stage. In cooperation with a doctor, changes in the usual movement sequences and optimization of resilience can be made.

Treatment & Therapy

At the beginning of the treatment it is advisable that the inflamed area of ​​the body is immobilized and relieved. This is the only way to reduce the swelling and relieve the pressure exerted on the tissue. The patient should periodically cool the affected area with cold packs or ice; this process also ensures a reduction in swelling and a decrease in pain.

Pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve the acute phase of synovitis. It is important that the taking of the tablets is discussed with the family doctor or that check-ups are carried out at regular intervals to determine whether the medication is having the desired effect.

If the symptoms do not improve or if the symptoms worsen so that medication or cooling measures no longer help, the patient must be operated on. The doctor decides to use the keyhole technique. The doctor makes a few small cuts in the patient – in the affected area; the incisions are just big enough for the necessary instruments or the camera to be inserted.

With this method it is possible that any proliferations of the mucous membrane can be treated. As a rule, surgery is the only way that synovitis can be permanently cured. In a few cases, however, a worsening of the synovitis was found, since the regions already affected were even more irritated due to the operation.


Synovitis can very well be prevented. Athletes can, for example, use warm-up phases to combat synovitis; sometimes people who are at risk of contracting synovitis due to their professional activities can prevent it by swimming. Of course, it is important that sufficient regeneration phases are observed. Therefore, if the first signs of synovitis have already been noticed, one should rest the affected joints.


In the case of synovitis or inflammation of the synovial membrane, follow-up care is advisable until it has completely healed. There is acute and chronic synovitis. The follow-up treatment is adapted to the respective form of the disease. In the acute course, aftercare ends when the symptoms subside. In the case of chronic synovitis, it is scheduled for the long term.

The symptoms should be alleviated in both courses, and completely eliminated in the acute form. Another goal is to prevent secondary diseases. The affected person can also counteract the symptoms by taking painkillers, sparing the inflamed joint and protecting against overload. Additional cooling can speed up the swelling down.

If the patient has to kneel a lot at work and the inflammation keeps coming back, they should consider changing jobs. In the case of severe disease progression, the only remaining option is surgery. The excess mucous membrane is removed during the operation using a keyhole procedure.

The aftercare depends on the postoperative condition: If the joint was able to heal afterwards, no further aftercare is necessary. The inflammation has been eliminated. If the symptoms worsen, other healing methods must be discussed. The development of a chronic synovitis should be prevented, the mobility of the joint must be restored.

You can do that yourself

In case of acute synovitis, a doctor should be consulted immediately. The self-help measures are limited to rest and taking the medication according to the doctor’s instructions.

In the case of chronic synovitis, the affected joints should not be further loaded. If the disease occurs in connection with rheumatoid arthritis, further measures must be taken. The patient requires a walking aid and special care from a physiotherapist. In addition to conservative medication, synovitis can be treated with various natural remedies. In particular, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory agents such as aloe vera or nettle extract are ideal for relieving joint problems. A tight bandage must be worn during the immobilization of the joint. The physiotherapyincludes warming compresses, electrophoresis, and electromagnetic wave therapy, among others.

After an operation on the joint, the leg must not be moved at all for three to four days. In the first few weeks, any stress should be avoided until the doctor gives his okay. Synovitis is a serious disease that can take many different forms. Therefore, self-help must also be strictly monitored.