Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds joints or tendons. A bursa reduces friction by cushioning muscles or tendons and bones that move back and forth across each other. The elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, and other joints contain a cushioning bursa. Inflammation means that the bursa is swollen and painful.
Irritation, injury, or pressure to a bursa can cause swelling and pain.
Causes of bursitis include:
Symptoms of bursitis are swelling, redness, and pain, usually near a joint.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you. He or she may use a needle and syringe to get a sample of fluid from the bursa. The fluid can be checked for infection and other causes of the bursitis. You may have X-rays and blood tests.
To relieve symptoms of bursitis:
Septic bursitis is treated with antibiotics.
If you keep having symptoms:
With treatment, the pain and swelling of bursitis usually goes away in 1 or 2 weeks. Even when the swelling goes away, the bursa may feel thicker for quite some time.
Call your provider right away if you have these signs of possible infection:
In some cases it may help to avoid doing whatever seems to have caused the bursitis. Try not to overuse or reinjure the area that was painful. Avoid pressure and injury to joints by wearing protective pads.