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Bursitis (Shoulder, Hip, Elbow, and More): How Do You Get Bursitis?

Nowadays health and wellness are not just things that people would be set aside. More and more people have been prioritizing health over anything now staying true to the testament that health is wealth.

Eating healthily, regular gym sessions, and other lifestyle changes are now being implemented by people in an effort to live a healthy and lengthy life. New concepts have emerged regarding health issues which is why more and more people are staying active.

However aside from having a different lifestyle, in order to stay healthy is also one’s responsibility to monitor his/her body. And in order to do so, one must be aware of certain concepts such as injuries, diseases, and more.

Knowing the possible diseases that you may have is an important thing because you know your body more than anyone. Before heading to the doctor, you have to assess yourself first to see if it’s serious or just a short-term thing that can be alleviated with rest.

One of the possible conditions that you may encounter is Bursitis.

If you’re a certain joint in your body is aching and swelling badly, then you may be looking at this condition.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a condition that affects the bursa. The bursa is responsible for cushioning bones, muscles, and everything near your joints. The bursa is important to the body as it is considered as the cushion for certain parts of the body to avoid any friction.

When bursae are inflamed, the resulting feeling can be very painful and irritating as the cushioning system between your bones is in no condition to carry any weight. The feeling of having this condition can be compared to having a bruise in between your bones and any contact with that painful part can be very painful.

The problem is that the bursae are always in contact with something since they are in between bones, muscles, tendons, and more. It happens when the synovial lining produces excessive fluid that would swell the bursa thus increasing its sensitivity and creating pain.

What do you know about the Bursae?

About The Bursitis
Every human would approximately have 160 bursae in the body from top to bottom. Any of these can be affected and can be diagnosed with bursitis.

Bursae are sack-like structures lined with synovial tissue which is responsible for manufacturing fluid that is necessary to lubricate bones and avoid any type of harmful friction in between bones, muscles, and tendons. Bursae may be small but they are very important in keeping your joints move smoothly and safely.

What are the Causes of Bursitis?

Causes of Bursitis
Bursitis can be caused by a lot of things from overworking to sudden injuries or bumps.

If you are an athlete or a manual labourer, chances are your bursitis is caused by any strong hits to your bursae such as falling and hitting your elbow or your knee. Aside from that, bursitis for athletes can be the result of bad landing from a jump that may also result in tearing your ligaments which is why the two conditions are often interchanged as the initial diagnosis.

Overworking a joint may also result in bursitis. Athletes like baseball players, specifical pitchers, may develop this condition due to an overworked shoulder. If you are a manual labourer relying on your shoulders, you may also get this.

If you are neither an athlete nor a manual labourer relying on a specific joint, you are still not spared from getting bursitis as it can happen to anyone. Everybody has bursae which means anybody can get the condition by hitting your elbow or knee hard on something, or if you are simply on your regular workout session doing jumping jacks.

Age may also be a factor in getting this condition as well as incorrect posture or poor stretching that may all lead to an increase in synovial fluid which then results in bursa inflammation.

What are the Symptoms of Bursitis?

Symptoms of Bursitis
Once you experience excruciating pain in any of your joints or any area where a bursa is present, then you may be looking at a case of bursitis. This pain may be gradual and it can also happen suddenly, both depending on the cause of the condition. Gradual pain may be from overworking while sudden pain is usually caused by sudden injuries.

The pain of this condition should feel like a typical bruise or sprain and it is recurring.

Aside from gradual or sudden pain, another thing to take a look at is the physical state of the affected part. Usually, it would lead to swelling and redness. Touching the affected part can lead to more pain that can be related to pressing a bruise.

Stiffness is another symptom as well as pain when you put weight on it or try to move the affected area.

When Should you See a Doctor?

Treat Bursitis
It is common and you can do your own research to diagnose yourself. However, if you really want to know if what you are experiencing, really, is bursitis then heading to the doctor is not the idea. Proper diagnosis is important to know the severity of the condition as it may determine what medications or treatments you will be doing.

If the suspected bursitis was caused by a sudden injury then going to the doctor is the right and best thing to do. If you fell and hit something or if you jumped and felt something tweaks, you may get something worse such as a torn ACL which is why you should head to a doctor after a bad fall or any other accidents that may lead to an injury.

For bursitis with gradual pain, you may also head to the doctor while the pain is still bearable. Of course, once the pain begins to be excruciating and causing other illnesses such as fevers, then going to the doctor is a must.

How Can I Treat Bursitis?

Treatment of this condition depends on a lot of things but mostly in relation to its severity.

Some cases of this condition can be alleviated just by resting and immobilizing the affected part. In other severe cases, draining the fluid through operations could be necessary. You may also get numerous medications for the pain and inflammation to subside.

As for home remedies, icing the affected area may also reduce the swelling of the affected part while hot compress may relax the affected area more although the swelling may persist.

What are the Common Types of Bursitis?

Types of Bursitis
Among the 160 bursae, the three most common ones that would be affected by bursitis are the Subacromial, Olecranon, and Patellar bursitis.

Shoulder Bursitis

Usually addressed as shoulder bursitis, Subacromial happens to the bursa located on one’s shoulder. The bursa is located in the heart of one of the most complex joint systems in the body which consists of the rotator cuff tendons connecting the torso to the arm bones such as the humerus. The shoulder is one of the most used joints in the body which is why shoulder bursitis is not so rare to people.

Olecranon Bursitis

Another common type is the Olecranon bursitis is the bursa inflammation that happens in the elbow. The Olecranon is the pointy bone behind the elbow and once the fluid is accumulated, bursitis will happen.

Olecranon is also known as “student’s elbow”, “baker’s elbow”, and many more terms which prove how common this type of bursitis actually is. Sudden trauma such as hitting something really hard with your elbow can be one of the most common causes of this.

Knee Bursitis

Of course, one of the parts of the body susceptible to the highest amount of injuries is the knee. With that said, one of the most common, and most painful type is called Patellar or knee bursitis. The knee actually has two common sources, the prepatellar bursa and the infrapatellar bursa.

Elbow Bursitis

The prepatellar bursa is the bursa in between the front part of the patella, or kneecap, and the skin. Bumping into a hard surface, such as the cause of elbow bursitis, can also cause prepatellar bursitis.

Infrapatellar Bursitis

On the other hand, infrapatellar bursitis occurs in the bursa located just below the knee can and is responsible for cushioning the patella underneath. The infrapatellar bursa is far smaller compared to prepatellar which is why any sudden pressure can lead to its demise.

Other common areas include the Hips and the Achilles tendon.

Read Next: 11 Effective Home Remedies To Get Rid of Bursitis


It is a condition that anybody can get but not everybody will get it in their life. Athletes, workers, or even people who live a sedentary lifestyle can get it once they start moving.

Same as other injuries that you may develop, bursitis can be avoided by simply paying attention to your body and keeping it healthy. Make sure you do not overwork yourself and if you are playing or working, always pay attention to form.

The inflammation of your bursa can happen in any of the 160 bursae that you have in your body and the pain that comes with it is no joke. However, the bursa is still a part of your body and it is your responsibility to take care of it to avoid any unwanted injuries concerning it.

Image Credits
Featured Image: shutterstock.com
In-Post Images: shutterstock.com

Contributor : Janice (Joint Health Magazine)

Janice Carson is a freelance journalist who specializes in Joint health issues and provides treatments and solutions to the sufferers. She is having medical writing experience of many years. She is contributing her work to jointhealthmagazine.com.

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