Bursitis Information

Last updated on 20 July 2019 by Danniel Jacques (B.Med.Sci UNSW)

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis Treatment OSMO PatchBursitis is the irritation and inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a small lubricated balloon like sac found throughout the body. These sacs help bones and tendons to articulate and glide over each other by reducing friction and irritation.

The bursae contain a small amount of lubricating fluid within them known as ‘synovial fluid’. These sacs are located around joints and other moving parts of the body, such as the shoulder, elbow, foot, hip, knee and ankle.

The bursae act like cushions while also reducing friction between sliding tendons and bones. Occasionally a bursa will be subjected to ongoing stress or a sudden trauma. When this occurs it usually results in an inflamed bursa that fills with fluid. This condition is known as BURSITIS and can be the cause of considerable discomfort and pain.

What Causes Bursitis?

There are a number of possible causes of bursitis and these include overuse and repetitive strain, a sudden impact injury,  several autoimmune diseases as well as other disorders. In many cases there will already be pre-existing age related degenerative changes in the joint that make an individual more susceptible to inflammation and subsequent episodes of bursitis.

There is an increased risk in developing bursitis for individuals working in some physical jobs or participating in regular sports. This is due to placing repetitive stress and strain on their joints, which increases their risk of developing bursitis. An example of this would be a carpenter developing knee bursitis or a golfer, elbow bursitis.

Identifying the cause of the bursitis is important as this may help with the treatment of the condition. For example, identifying the cause may allow you to eliminate or avoid an activity that initially led to the condition.

What Region of the Body can Bursitis Affect?

What are the Symptoms of Bursitis?

The signs and symptoms of bursitis can vary from individual to individual depending on the degree of inflammation and will normally include localized pain and tenderness.

An extremely inflamed bursa may also result in visible swelling that appears as a lump. Visible swelling is a particularly common symptom of both knee and elbow bursitis that may cause joint stiffness and extreme pain when weight or pressure is applied to that affected joint.

(Diagnosis of bursitis should always be confirmed by a qualified doctor prior to starting any treatment and will often require an ultrasound).

How is Bursitis Diagnosed?

It is always best to visit a qualified medical professional if you suspect that you have bursitis in order to get a proper diagnosis before starting any treatment.

While many areas of bursitis can be assessed by a physical and visual examination it is still best to have an ultrasound to properly confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor may also feel that additional images or tests, such as an MRI, X-Ray and/or blood tests, are required to rule out other possible causes or co-existing conditions.

Next Page: Learn the answers to the most common questions asked about treating bursitis, including:

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Attention Toky, Customer care. Hi Toky, Just to say we’ve ordered 20 more patches as the first lot really improved the Bursitis in my Elbow. It reduced the pain mainly, but although it seems full of fluid in the mornings the swelling has not reduced greatly. Mind you it’s quite an art fitting them firmly […]

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Baker's cyst.

I’m from Clinton Mo.(USA)..Back in July I hurt my knee, and later formed a bakers cyst…it got so bad that I could not bend my knee. I had to walk with my leg stiff at all time, bending my knee was something that I could not do without a lot of pain…I was looking online […]

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Susan S
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Bursa in elbow

Thank you so much for your attention and immediate response to my e-mail. About 9 months ago I slipped on a latter and banged my elbow which resulted in a bursa sac.  This was the first time ever, but about two months ago it happened again. Your patches worked great both times. They significantly reduced […]

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Hi Toky I have received my patches and used one last night on my hip. It’s an absolute miracle!! I have been suffering on and off for three years with Bursitis on my left hip.  My GP has given me cortisone injections and anti inflammatorys both of which have given some relief but not lasted […]

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East Sussex, United Kingdom
Fluid on knee

I had a sac of fluid to the upper-right of my knee. Quite large. Initially I had pulled my calf muscle and without realizing the extent of the pull, I continued to pursue my daily routine which consisted of morning workouts at the gym including “spin” class.  Needless to say, I aggravated the whole situation. […]

Vickie M
Rhode Island, United States
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