Bursitis (bur-SY-tis) is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs — called bursae (bur-SEE) — that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed.
The most common locations for bursitis are in the shoulder, elbow and hip. But you can also have bursitis by your knee, heel and the base of your big toe. Bursitis often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.
The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. Examples include:
- Throwing a baseball or lifting something over your head repeatedly
- Leaning on your elbows for long periods
- Extensive kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors
If you have bursitis, the affected joint might:
- Feel achy or stiff
- Hurt more when you move it or press on it
- Look swollen and red
If the inflammation in your bursa is caused by an infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic.
Physical therapy or exercises can strengthen the muscles in the affected area to ease pain and prevent recurrence.
Injections – A corticosteroid drug injected into the bursa can relieve pain and inflammation in your shoulder or hip. This treatment generally works quickly and, in many cases, one injection is all you need.
Surgery – Sometimes an inflamed bursa must be surgically drained, but only rarely is surgical removal of the affected bursa necessary.
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