What Is Bursitis?

Bursae are small, jelly-like, fluid-filled sacs located about the joints, surrounding the areas where tendons, skin, and muscle tissues meet bones such as around the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. The fluid in these sacs provides cushions to reduce friction during movement of the joint.

Bursitis is an painful inflammation of a bursa sac, often occurring near joints performing frequent repetitive motions. Inflamed bursae cause pain and discomfort in the affected location, most common locations for bursitis including shoulder, elbow and hip, also knee, heel and toe.

The Symptoms Of Bursitis?

The main symptom of bursitis is pain as the joints might be stiff, hurt more with moving or pressing on it, looking swollen or red.

The pain usually extends gradually or becomes severe. In the early stages, the pain is usually described as sharp and intense. Later, the pain may become more of an ache and spread across.

Prepatellar and olecranon bursitis can make it hard to bend the leg or arm, respectively. Trochanteric and retrocalcaneal bursitis might cause difficulty walking. Trochanteric bursitis can also make the pain worse at night, when lying on the affected hip, and when getting up from a chair after being seated for a while. It also may get worse with prolonged walking, stair climbing, or squatting.

What Are Common Causes Of Bursitis?

The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive motions in some sports-related activities or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint such as bending the knees repeatedly or staying on the knees for long periods of time.

Other causes include injury such as infection or bleeding in a bursae, trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

Which Treatments Are Recommended To Reduce Bursitis?

Bursitis may go away over time with some primary care, including self-care, medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy or surgery.

Most people recover from bursitis with simple self-care measures such as resting to allow the inflammation to subside, avoiding activities that cause problems, heat and cold therapy such as cool packs, bandaging, splints and braces and maintaining a healthy weight. When the pain has subsided, gentle exercise of the joint would be helpful by gradually increasing the range of motion.

Massage therapy by a licensed and trained professional can help relieve muscle tension, reduce symptoms associated with tendonitis, circulation may increase, bringing more cells and oxygen to the affected area, and help increase range of motion.


Bursitis, WebMD, viewed 19 June 2020, https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/arthritis-bursitis#1

What You Need to Know About Bursitis, Healthline, viewed 19 June 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/bursitis

Bursitis, Arthritis Foundation, viewed 19 June 2020, https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/bursitis

Call Now Button