Bursitis

Bursitis at a glance

  • Bursitis occurs when the fluid-filled sacs between tendons and muscles or bones (bursae) become inflamed.
  • Bursitis is most commonly found in the hip, elbow, and shoulder, but can also develop in the foot and heel (near the Achilles tendon) or in the knee.
  • Bursitis is typically caused by repetitive strenuous activity such as manual labor, heavy lifting, or sports activity.
  • Symptoms of bursitis are pain, swelling, tenderness and inflammation.
  • Home treatment for bursitis typically includes rest, icing the area, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like Advil or Aleve.

Causes of bursitis

Bursae help to reduce friction and allow joints to move through their full range of motion. Bursitis occurs when a joint is injured or kept under pressure due to overuse and the bursae become inflamed.

Wear and tear from aging also contributes the development of bursitis, which is common in adults over age 40.

People whose work requires manual labor like heavy lifting, long shifts, or repetitive motion are more likely to develop bursitis. Sports that involve frequent running, throwing, and jumping “such as tennis or baseball” can also lead to bursitis over time.

Conversely, sedentary people who suddenly increase their activity level may also experience bursitis.

Symptoms of bursitis

Bursitis symptoms commonly include pain and stiffness in the affected joint. The area may also be red and warm to the touch. The joint and surrounding area commonly feel tender and painful when touched or pressed.

With rest and treatment, the symptoms of bursitis usually disappear. Unfortunately, recurring flare-ups of bursitis are common.

Contact a health care provider if you are experiencing:

  • Severe, disabling pain
  • Pain that lasts more than a week or two
  • Fever
  • Shooting or sharp pain
  • Rash or bruising
  • Extreme swelling or redness

Treatment of bursitis

Treatment for bursitis includes rest, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and ice packs applied to the site of the bursitis pain.

A corticosteroid injection in the affected bursae may help to reduce swelling. If the pain and swelling becomes severe, your physician may remove some fluid from the bursa or recommend surgical removal.

Contact us to request an appointment with on of our orthopedists to learn more about your treatment options if you are experiencing pain symptoms associated with bursitis.