Let’s Talk About Bursitis Baby

Let’s Talk About Bursitis Baby

Have you ever had bursitis? It is a painfully nagging diagnosis. A bursa (or several bursae) are thin, lubricated sacs located at points of friction between a bone and the surrounding soft tissue, such as skin, muscles, ligaments and tendons. A bursa lies wedged between a bone and opposing surface (e.g. skin) like a tiny water balloon with only a few drops of fluid in it. It acts as a shock absorber or a lubrication point decreasing friction at a joint.


There are over 150 bursae found in the human body. They cushion and lubricate points between the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints. The bursae are generally lined with synovial cells. Synovial cells produce a lubricant that reduces friction between tissues. When a person has bursitis, or inflammation of the bursa, movement or pressure is painful. Overuse such as repetitive movements, injury, and sometimes even infection from gout or rheumatoid arthritis can cause bursitis. Tennis elbow is one common type of bursitis. Some of the symptoms of bursitis are pain that increases with movement or pressure, tenderness, even without movement at times, swelling, or loss of movement.

The Treatment

Bursitis generally gets better on its own. However, conservative measures, such as rest, ice and taking a pain reliever, can relieve some of the discomfort. If conservative measures don’t work, there are some other treatment options. Medication such as an antibiotic can be used if the inflammation in your bursa is caused by an infection. Physical therapy or exercises can strengthen the muscles in the affected area to ease pain and prevent recurrence. If that doesn’t work, a corticosteroid drug injected into the bursa can relieve pain and inflammation in your shoulder or hip. This treatment generally works quickly and, in many cases, one injection is all you need. Temporary use of a cane or other assistive device can help relieve pressure on the affected area. Finally, on a rare occasion, an inflamed bursa must be surgically drained, but only rarely is surgical removal of the affected bursa necessary.


While bursitis may not be fun to deal with, there are many options to treating it. If it was up to me, I would always recommend the conservative treatments first before opting for surgery or medications. Try consulting your local physical therapist if you feel like you may have a case of bursitis. As the movement experts, physical therapist are usually pretty good in treating most types of bursitis.

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