What is Bursitis?

Bursae are small sac filled with lubricating fluid located near your joints between tendons, muscles and bones. The bursae reduce friction and irritation caused by rubbing. When the bursae become inflamed, you have the condition known as bursitis.

Common locations for bursitis include the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and Achilles tendon.

What are the Symptoms of Bursitis?

Pain is commonly the first symptom of bursitis. The pain may build gradually or it may occur suddenly.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult your doctor:

A fever over 102 degrees Faherenheit
General Illness or multiple sites of pain
Inability to move the affected area
Swelling, redness, and warmth

These symptoms may be signs of a different more serious problem.

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What Causes Bursitis?

Repetitive use, overuse, or sudden more serious injury often causes bursitis.

Physical disparities between your limbs, such as a length difference in your legs, or arthritis in a joint that affects your gait can stress your bursae and cause inflammation. Some autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis may also create stress and inflammation leading to bursitis. Thyroid disorders, unusual medication reactions or an inflammation may also initiate this condition.

How is Bursitis Treated?

There are a variety of treatments for Bursitis. Treatment usually begins with a conservative approach and progresses through more invasive treatments until relief is attained.

  • Conservative Treatments

    Ice, rest and over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines may be very effective. Physical therapy, particularly for bursitis associated with gait differences may often relieve the pain.

    Steroid Injections

    Bursitis may respond to corticosteroids, or steroids. A local injection of steroid often decreases inflammation and pain.

  • Platelet Rich Plasma

    Another more long term solution that often works on bursitis is platelet rich plasma injections or PRP. This injection uses cells from your own body. The cells are spun and reduced to the growth and healing factors that are within your blood. This is then injected into the site of injury.


    Surgical treatment is generally not recommended but may be used if nothing else works.

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