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Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a thin sac that lies between bone and soft tissue near certain joints. A healthy bursa allows smooth movement of soft tissue over bone. Inflammation can make it painful to move the nearby joint.
Bursitis occurs most often in the:
Bursitis in the Shoulder
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Bursitis may be caused by:
If the stress is not relieved, bursitis can become a long-term condition.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance for bursitis include:


Symptoms of bursitis include:


You will be asked about your symptoms and your physical activities. The painful area will be examined.
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with x-rays.


Bursitis treatment will focus on decreasing inflammation and pain. The main step is to stop the activity causing the pain. You will be asked to rest the area and protect it from injury. Your doctor may also recommend:
If the bursitis is painful, your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection. These injections have short-term benefits and some risk. They may be limited to conditions that interfere with daily activities.
Chronic bursitis may need more aggressive treatment. Additional steps may include:


The following steps may help to prevent bursitis:


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine


Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation


Bursitis. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center website. Available at: Accessed December 15, 2013.

Elbow (olecranon) bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated January 2011. Accessed December 15, 2013.

Hip bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated August 2007. Accessed December 15, 2013.

Prepatellar bursitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated September 5, 2012. Accessed December 15, 2013.

Questions and answers about bursitis and tendonitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: Updated June 2013. Accessed December 15, 2013.

Tendonitis/bursitis. American College of Rheumatology. Available at: Updated February 2013. Accessed December 15, 2013.

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