Understanding Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options


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Bursitis is a painful condition of the joints caused by the swelling of a small sac full of fluids called “bursa.” These bursa are located between bones and soft tissue, acting as a cushion and lubricant for the joint. Bursitis can occur in almost any joint in the body, but is most common in the shoulder, elbow, knee, or hip.

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Possible Causes of Bursitis

Bursitis can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Injury or trauma to the joint
  • Overuse of the joint
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or scleroderma
  • Bacterial or fungal infections

Possible Symptoms of Bursitis

The most common symptoms of bursitis are:

  • Pain when moving or touching the joint
  • Swelling and stiffness of the joint
  • Tenderness and redness at the site of the joint
  • Decreased range of motion in the affected area

Treatment Options for Bursitis

Treatment for bursitis usually begins with rest, ice, and medications to reduce inflammation and pain. If the condition does not improve after a few days, a doctor may prescribe stronger pain medications or recommend physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or surgery. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the bursa.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the above symptoms and believe you may have bursitis, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Your doctor can diagnose bursitis and recommend the appropriate treatment for your condition.