Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a thin sac that lies between bone and soft tissue near certain joints. A healthy bursa allows smooth movement of soft tissue over bone. Inflammation can make it painful to move the nearby joint.
Bursitis may be caused by:
A blow to an area containing a bursa
Repetitive stress on the bursa
Infection in bursa
Long periods of pressure on joint—leaning on elbows, sitting or kneeling on hard surfaces
Medical conditions that cause inflammation in joints such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout
If the stress is not relieved, bursitis can become a long-term condition.
Factors that increase your chance for bursitis include:
Repetitive motion activities when done to an extreme, such as swimming, running, or tennis
A job that requires:
Repetitive motions such as hammering or painting
Long hours in one position such as a carpenter kneeling
Sporting gear that is too tight
A puncture or deep cut that involves bursa
Symptoms of bursitis include:
Pain in the area
Warmth around the area of the bursa
Decreased motion of the nearby joint
Decreased function of the nearby limb
You will be asked about your symptoms and your physical activities. The painful area will be examined.
Images may be taken of your bony structures. This can be done with x-rays.
Bursitis treatment will focus on decreasing inflammation and pain. Your physical therapy treatment may include:
Being shown how to do your activities at home and at work to protect you from making your bursitis worse
Exercises to strengthen your knee
Heat, ice, and pressure treatments to reduce the swelling and pain
The following steps may help to prevent bursitis:
Do not overdo sports and other activities.
When doing a new activity, gradually increase the intensity and duration of activity.
Make sure you perform activities correctly.
Wear properly fitting, protective pads if you play contact sports.
Use proper safety equipment at work.
Work with an ergonomic specialist to improve work-related activities.
This content was created using EBSCO's Health Library
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This content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library