Bursitis is the inflammation or degeneration of the soft tissues that surround the muscles and bones. Surrounding the muscles, bones, tendons and skin, are small sacs that act as cushions between these moving structures. These small sacs are known as Bursae. A healthy Bursa will protect a bone from over-pulling muscles and tendons.

Bursitis is the inflammation of the Bursa and can be very painful at times, particularly when the affected Bursa is near an overused joint. Some patients have claimed to experience pain during rest, and not just when using the joint.

Common Causes

Bursitis occurs most often when a joint is overused or injured suddenly, and remains under pressure for a long period of time. The Bursae near the joint may become inflamed if the joint is repetitively used; the Bursae sacs fill up with excess fluid which causes pressure in the surrounding tissues.

If the joint continues to be used and the pressure increases, the patient may begin to experience slight symptoms of pain and tenderness, along with swelling and inflammation in the area.

Old age has also been associated with Bursitis and is most commonly felt in the shoulder, one of the joints that have the greatest range of motion. Other patients have experienced Bursitis in other parts of the body, such as the elbows, hips, and knees.


The condition can affect several parts of the body and have very painful symptoms. Bursitis is particularly common among athletes and people with jobs that require manual work for long periods of time. Here are a few ways to ease the symptoms:

Resting for at least a short amount of time will relieve the pressure from the joint and ease the pain slightly.

Applying Ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain. Try applying ice for 10-15 minutes once or twice a day.

Anti-Inflammatory Medicine, also known as NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce the pain and inflammation.

Overall, it’s best that you consult with your doctor to make sure that you aren’t pushing your body’s limits to an extent that will cause the pain to come back stronger later. Your doctor, depending on the severity of the Bursitis, might recommend Physical Therapy. Slowly building up your joint and muscle strength through physical therapy or daily exercise can help keep Bursitis at bay.