Natural Health Remedies for You

What is Bursitis?

What is bursitis? Read this page to learn more about the signs and symptoms of bursitis and what causes bursitis.

For information on how to treat bursitis naturally using herbs, nutritional supplements, and aromatherapy, please visit our page on How to Treat Bursitis Naturally.

Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa found inside joints. The bursa is a sac which contains lubricating fluid which helps to lubricate and cushion pressure points between the bones and the tendons and muscles near the joints. It helps decrease rubbing, friction, and irritation. As you can imagine, when the bursa is inflamed, movement can be painful.

Bursitis is more common in adults, especially in those over 40 years of age. There are more than 150 bursae in our bodies. But usually bursitis occurs in larger joints, such as the shoulder, hip, knee, or elbow. It can also occur in the base of the thumb or the Achilles tendon.

With treatment, bursitis pain usually goes away within a few weeks. However, recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are common.

What is Bursitis - Causes of Bursitis

Bursitis is usually caused by overuse from repetitive motion or strenuous activity on the area. Overuse may be the result of activities such as gardening, shoveling, raking, carpentry, tennis, golf, skiing, scrubbing, and so on. In particular, if your posture is incorrect while doing some of these activities, or if you fail to do sufficient and proper stretching exercise, bursitis may occur.

Age also plays a role - As tendons age, they are less elastic and less tolerable to stress, and are easier to tear.

Bursitis may also be caused by other health problems, such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, or unusual medication reactions. Sometimes, a bacterial infection can also cause bursitis.


What is Bursitis - Symptoms of Bursitis

The most common symptom of bursitis is pain at the site of the bursa and beyond. The pain may be a gradual buildup or sudden and severe, especially if calcium deposits are present.

Other signs and symptoms of bursitis include:
  • Dull aching or stiffness in the affected area (e.g. around the elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, big toe or other joints).
  • The pain gets worse with movement or pressure.
  • Loss of motion in the shoulder (called "frozen shoulder").
  • Occasional skin redness in the area of the inflamed bursa.
  • Affected joint area may feel swollen or warm to the touch.
When to See a Doctor

Consult your doctor immediately if you have:

  • A fever.
  • Swelling, redness, and warmth.
  • General illness or multiple sites of pain.
  • Inability to move the affected area.


What is Bursitis - Prevention

There are several things that can be done to prevent bursitis from occurring, such as:
  • Stretch the muscles - Before any exercise or other physical activity, do stretching exercise to stretch out the muscles.
  • Strengthen the muscles - Doing proper exercise to strengthen the muscles can help protect the joints.
  • Practice good posture - For example, do not lean on on your elbows, or put your weight on one leg.
  • Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks.
  • Avoid sitting still for long periods - Make it a habit to get up and walk around every hour.
  • Protect and cushion the joint - For example, sit on cushioned chairs, use elbow pads, and avoid kneeling on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

Related Topic

How to Treat Bursitis Naturally

References ( (
University of Maryland Medical Center (

TOP of What is Bursitis
Top 10 Most Visited Pages

Subscribe to This Site:


Enjoy This Site?

Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service?

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

| Homepage | Links |
| Contact Us | Privacy Policy |

Information on this site is for educational purpose only.
It is not intended to replace the advice and treatment of a professional medical practitioner.

Return to top
Copyright© 2009.