Bursitis: A Painful Condition That Can Be Treated


Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, a tiny, fluid-filled sac that cushions bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis causes discomfort, swelling, and reduced motion.

Common Sites

Bursitis often affects the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is heel-related.


Repetitive movements, prolonged pressure or friction, direct trauma, underlying joint problems, or bacterial infection may cause bursitis. Bursitis risk increases with repeated motions or extended kneeling.


Bursitis causes localized discomfort, soreness, swelling, and joint stiffness. Movement or pressure may increase discomfort.


A doctor may diagnose bursitis using a physical exam, symptoms, and potentially X-rays or MRIs. Analysis may need bursa fluid.

Treatment Options

Bursitis therapy lowers pain and mobility. Rest, cold packs, compression, elevation, NSAIDs, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections are non-surgical. Conservative therapies may fail, requiring surgery.

Prevention and Self-Care

To prevent bursitis, take breaks, use appropriate equipment, avoid repetitive activities, and maintain joint health. Rest, cold, heat, and gentle stretching may assist bursitis symptoms and recovery.

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