What is Bursitis?


Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa. A variety of medical conditions can cause it. These include arthritis, gout, diabetes, and certain autoimmune disorders. Some people can also develop bursitis due to artificial implants or prosthetics. This type of inflammation can result in pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area.


Bursitis is a painful condition in which one or more bursae become inflamed. It can occur due to many reasons, including repetitive motions or injury. The most common cause is muscular imbalance. This leads to increased use of specific large muscles in one area, which puts pressure on other bursae, leading to inflammation. Over time, this inflammation builds up and eventually causes full-blown bursitis. For example, people with weak or imbalanced muscles in the hip region are prone to bursitis.

Once you’ve developed bursitis symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately. Various treatments, such as pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, can help you feel better faster. Among these are corticosteroids, drugs that work quickly to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to strengthen the affected muscles and improve their range of motion. Lastly, a doctor may perform surgery to repair the bursa and reduce pain and inflammation.

Symptoms of bursitis can range from minor to severe. The most common symptom is a bursa’s inflammation, a small sac filled with fluid that reduces friction between tissues. Most bursae are located near major joints and tendons. If you develop bursitis, you may feel swelling, warmth, and tenderness in the affected area. The inflammation typically occurs after an injury or overuse of a joint.


In most cases, the cause of bursitis is an infection, which can be treated with antibiotics. However, in some cases, the condition can be triggered by a particular activity. An occupational therapist can help you with treatment and management in these cases. Correct posture and joint protection are crucial to alleviating bursitis pain. Other effective treatments include braces and splints to reduce stress on the affected joint. An occupational therapist can also suggest stretches and exercises to help reduce the risk of bursitis.

Bursitis can occur in the elbow, shoulder, or hip. Inflammatory diseases, such as gout, can also contribute to this condition. In addition, previous surgery can result in bursitis or limited range of motion. Other causes of bursitis include bone spurs or calcium deposits in the joints. These factors can cause inflammation, which can lead to more severe symptoms.

Overuse of a particular joint is another common cause of bursitis. People who spend much time sitting or on their knees are more likely to develop bursitis. Other common causes include poor posture, being overweight, or not stretching regularly. Bursitis is a painful condition that can limit activities. However, the good news is that it is treatable. A visit to an orthopedic doctor can help you find a treatment plan and alleviate the pain.


Bursitis treatments can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, to reduce pain and inflammation. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and other prescription medications. The NSAIDs should be applied topically to the affected area using absorbent cotton. They should be applied three times per day for three days. If the pain persists after three days, reduce the frequency to one daily application. If the bursa is too deep, it may not benefit from the NSAIDs.

Injections are another option for the treatment of bursitis. These can relieve pain and inflammation and help with joint function. Patients can also undergo physical therapy to strengthen muscles around the affected joint. In some cases, surgery may be required. A doctor will recommend a treatment plan for you. You should see your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve within a week.

Treatments for bursitis can include rest and stretching. Physical therapy can also help prevent bursitis. Performing physical exercises regularly and doing a range of stretches will keep the bursa healthy and prevent the condition from returning. A doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, an ice pack, or a steroid injection if your pain is severe. Depending on the severity of bursitis, antibiotics may be necessary.


Repetitive movements often cause bursitis, and various steps can be taken to prevent it. One such measure is applying a cold compress to the affected area. Applying the compress for 10 to 20 minutes twice daily can help ease the pain and swelling. The ice should be wrapped in a towel to avoid damaging the skin. The pain can also be relieved by stretching and strengthening the affected muscles. In more severe cases, physical therapy can be a good option.

Another way to prevent bursitis is to avoid overuse. People who are overweight or perform repetitive movements are at a higher risk of developing bursitis. A cushion while sitting or kneeling is also an effective way to prevent pain. Moreover, avoiding standing or sitting on hard surfaces can protect you from bursitis.

Another preventive measure is to warm up properly before exercising. A five to ten-minute warm-up before exercising can help you avoid further injury. For example, before exercising, you can walk or jog at a moderate speed or ride a stationary bike. Warm-up exercises also help strengthen muscles where the bursa is located. By strengthening these muscles, you can help your bursa recover faster.