Everyone has hundreds of bursa around the body. Their role is to reduce friction and allow 2 surfaces to slide over each other freely.

  • When bursa become irritated they become swollen and the ability to allow the 2 surfaces to glide freely is reduced.
  • Poor biomechanics and repetitive strain is quite often the cause of a bursitis
  • A blunt trauma can also cause an acute episode of swelling within a bursa, leading to a bursitis.
  • Other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout can make an individual more prone to a bursitis.

Hints for self-management

  • Rest the affected area and avoid aggravating movements and activities.
  • Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can assist reduce inflammation.

Management options

  •   A corticosteroid can be injected into the affected bursa to assist reduce inflammation. This can be performed under ultrasound guidance by a radiologist after being prescribed by your GP, Orthopaedic Surgeon or Sports Physician.
  • Physiotherapy can help strengthen the muscles around the affected area and correct any biomechanical issues causing the irritation .

What you can expect/look out for

  • Pain with movement.
  • An achey or stiff sensation in the affected area.
  • Swelling and/or redness over the affected area.
  • Sometimes painful to palpate over the bursa.

More information

  • Common areas for bursitis are:

–       Shoulder (sub-acromial) bursitis

–       Elbow (olecrannon) bursitis

–       Hip (trochanteric) bursitis

  • It is not uncommon to experience recurrent flare ups



Bursa in Elbow Joint