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.
- 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.
- There are approximately 160 bursae in the human body
- Larger bursae are located near major joints, such as the shoulders elbows hips and knees. Example: Subacromial Bursitis
- Common areas for bursitis are:
– Shoulder (sub-acromial) bursitis
– Elbow (olecrannon) bursitis
– Hip (trochanteric) bursitis
- It is not uncommon to experience recurrent flare-ups