What is Bursitis?
The points of contact between bones, tendons and ligaments are cushioned by small fluid-filled sacs called bursae. The body has over 150 bursae and these reduce friction by allowing joints to operate smoothly. When joints are subjected to excessive use, tension or pressure a bursa fills with excess fluid and gets inflamed causing pain, swelling and tenderness in the area.
The shoulder which has the greatest range of motion in the body is most commonly affected by bursitis. Other places are elbows, joints and knees. The pain and stiffness are most severe after waking up from a night's sleep and tends to reduce as normal daytime activities are resumed.
Bursitis generally goes away in a few days or weeks. However chronic bursitis can lead to the formation of calcium deposits which can cause permanent reduction of motion in the affected joint.
Who can get affected by Bursitis?
Bursitis generally affects people engaged in physically strenous activity such as athletes and manual workers. It can also affect otherwise sedentary people who undertake laborious tasks.
What are the symptoms of Bursitis?
Pain, inflammation and swelling in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, joints of the hands or feet especially while stretching or excessively exercising the joint.
Restricted motion in a joint with or without pain
If the pain persists for more than a few days, you could be experiencing tendonitis or the onset of arthritis.
What causes Bursitis?
The immediate cause of bursitis is injury or pressure on a joint. This can be brought about by athletic activities such as running, throwing, jumping or stretching while playing tennis, bowling etc. It cna also be caused by heavy lifting, repetitive motions, working in an unusual position for a long period of time.