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What is Bursitis

Synonyms: inflammation of bursa

Bursitis is inflammation of the synovial pouch, a fluid-filled structure that lies between a tendon and the skin or between a tendon and the bone, with a cushioning function, and aiding in the slippage of tissues and their nutrition.

The disease may be acute or chronic.

The occurrence of bursitis is more common in the shoulders, elbows and hips. But it can also occur in the knees, heels and toe, in addition to other joints. In general, bursitis occurs near the joints that perform repetitive movements.


The most common cause of bursitis is the repetition of movements in certain joints or positions that can cause damage to the bursa. This can happen in the following situations:

Throwing balls or lifting something over your head repeatedly Lean on your elbows for long periods of time Kneeling for long periods of time

Spend a lot of time sitting, especially on uncomfortable places with hard surfaces Some bursas, such as the knee and elbow, lie just below the skin. These are the places of the body with the greatest risk of trauma that can lead to bursitis.

In addition to excessive and chronic use of the joints, bursitis can also be caused by orthopedic trauma, rheumatic processes, gout or some form of infection. Sometimes the cause of bursitis can not be determined.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop bursitis, but, according to experts, some factors may increase the risk of the onset of the disease. They are:

  • Age: the occurrence of bursitis becomes more common with aging

  • Occupations or hobbies: If a person works in a profession or has a hobby that requires repetitive motion or puts pressure on a specific joint, that person is more likely to develop bursitis as well. Examples include gardening, painting and playing a musical instrument

  • Other medical conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes and certain systemic diseases increase the risk of developing bursitis.


Symptoms of Bursitis A person with bursitis symptoms may notice:

Joint pain and tenderness when pressing the region around the joint Stiffness and pain when moving the affected joint Swelling, warmth or redness in the joint, especially when related to infection.

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