Bursae are the fluid-filled pads that act as cushions for the joints. There are over 150 bursae situated throughout the body. Inflammation of the bursae is called bursitis.
What joints are most commonly affected?
Bursitis most often affects the superficial bursa of the shoulders, elbows, knees, or hips. Pain, stiffness, swelling, and warmth are the most common symptoms.
What Causes bursitis?
Repetitive overuse is the main cause, but prolonged pressure to the bursa itself can also lead to bursitis. Acute injuries can also lead to bursitis.
What is treatment like?
Largely dependent on the type of bursitis a patient has, treatment can vary a great deal. Conservative treatments like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can sometimes provide good pain relief. Most cases improve within days or weeks, though sometimes it takes months for the inflammation to calm. Corticosteroid injections may be used. In severe cases, surgical removal may be required (bursectomy).