What is Bursitis?
Bursitis is an inflammatory condition that occurs when bursae sacs swell, causing pain. Bursae are small sacs of fluid located all over the body that helps lubricate and cushion bones, tendons, and ligaments, preventing them from rubbing against one another. As most friction occurs in the joints, this condition occurs most commonly in the following areas:
Most people that suffer from bursitis report having pain, swelling, and redness. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is essential to consult a specialist to identify and treat them accordingly. Keep in mind that these symptoms are not exclusive to bursitis.
Bursitis vs. Arthritis
Due to the similarity in symptoms, bursitis, and arthritis are often mistaken for one another. While they both affect the joints, the cause for these conditions is entirely different. Arthritis occurs most commonly as cartilage deteriorates, creating irreversible damage. On the other hand, bursitis occurs as the result of irritation in the bursae sacs and can be both acute and chronic.
Causes & Risk Factors of Bursitis
Like with most things, overuse and misuse of our body can damage high impact areas. Injuries, infections, highly physical work, and sports are some of the leading causes of bursitis as repetitive motions create friction that slowly irritates the bursae sacs. Other risk factors include:
- Excessive weight
- Poor posture
- Prolonged sitting/standing
Types of Bursitis
While bursitis can occur in any area of the body where bursae are present, it tends to develop in the hips, shoulders, knees, and elbows more commonly.
Otherwise known as hip bursitis, this condition affects the hip joints causing pain when applying pressure and reducing the range of motion. Partaking in activities such as running and cycling increases the risk of trochanteric bursitis.
This type of bursitis is caused by the inflammation of the bursae located near the shoulders. Injuries and overuse as the result of playing sports such as baseball may aggravate this condition.
Prepatellar or kneecap bursitis occurs when the bursae located on top of the kneecap becomes inflamed. Individuals that run, bend their knees repeatedly, or stand for extended periods are more likely to develop this form of bursitis.
Also known as elbow bursitis, it is the swelling of the bursae sacs in the back of the elbow joint. Repetitive bending and pressure on the elbows may lead to bursitis. Additionally, olecranon bursitis is the most easily infected as the result of elbow cuts and scrapes.
Different treatments may be required depending on the type of bursitis, the severity, and the frequency of the symptoms. For a more acute form of bursitis, home remedies such as ice packs, heating, and rest may suffice. However, if symptoms continue or worsen, more advanced treatments may be needed. Our dedicated team of experts will work with you to identify your condition and outline the best treatment to manage your symptoms. Common treatment options include but are not limited to:
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections