Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, a thin piece of tissue that surrounds and protects tendons within the body. Its purpose is to reduce friction between the tendon and connected bone, allowing the tendon to glide easily over the bone.
Acute bursitis occurs when there is direct impact on the bursa, causing it to become injured and inflamed. Chronic bursitis is caused by overuse of a particular joint, typically from long-term impact. Bursitis most often occurs in the shoulder, elbow, knee and hip joints.
Bursitis may be caused by extreme trauma to the bursa, such as when an individual experiences a direct blow to the site or is involved in a motor vehicle accident. This condition can also stem from overexertion of a joint, as is the case with individuals involved in prolonged sports and physical activities.
An individual with bursitis may experience symptoms like pain and swelling of the affected joint, reduced range of motion of the joint and reddened skin around the area.
For acute bursitis, individuals can utilize home remedies such as applying ice to the affected area and protecting it (through rest) from direct trauma. They can also request anti-inflammatory medications and/or cortisone injections to help reduce the pain and swelling in the joint.
Treatment for chronic bursitis includes some of the aforesaid remedies, as well as considering certain surgical procedures and physical therapy techniques to reduce pain and help strengthen the area around the injury.