Bursitis affects more than 8 million Americans annually and includes tennis elbow and jumper’s knee.
Bursitis occurs when bursae, small sacs of fluid, become inflamed. Bursae exist at points in the body where muscles and tendons slide across bone. Healthy bursae facilitate painless and smooth movement by allowing muscles and tendons to slide against bone. When bursae become inflamed, movement becomes difficult and painful.
Bursitis affects more than 8 million Americans a year, occurring most often in the elbow, knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, or ankle. Bursitis is most common in people over the age of 45.
Bursitis Risk Factors
Bursae can become inflamed through the process of excessive or repetitive motion. Common risk factors include:
- Repetitive motion from exercise, hobbies, or work
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Bursitis occurs most frequently in the shoulder, elbows, and knees. Symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Stinging pain
- Pain during and after activity
Bursitis Diagnosis and Treatment
Bursitis is diagnosed through a physical examination of the area of the body experiencing pain. CT scan, MRI, X-ray, and lab work also may be done to rule out fractures, tissue damage, or arthritis. Rest, limiting motion, ice, elevation of the affected area, and anti-inflammatory and pain medication can alleviate bursitis.
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