Bursitis overview and Definition

Bursae are fluid-filled sacs found about your joints. They surround the areas where tendons, skin, and muscle tissues meet  bones. The lubrication they add helps reduce friction during movement of the joint.Bursitis is an inflammation of your bursae. Inflamed bursae cause pain and discomfort in the affected location. They also limit the ways you can move your joints.


bursitis is common among the people who has crossed more than 40 years of age

Structure of Bursitis

It is an small pouch/sac found in muscles ,tendons and bone. It is also known as the bursa or plural bura or bursae. The bursa might be classified into adventitious,suncutaneous,synovial or submuscular

Adventitious bursa arises due to the continuous or repetative exposure to unusual shearing stresses particularly over bony prominences. They are temporary and does not cause much problems and it most commonly found in the foot regions due to the chronic friction. Subcutaneous bursa is found in the subcutaneous tissue and they are ill defined clefts and they are mainly present in between the subcutaneous tissue and deep fascia.

Synovial bursa are thin walled sacs and they are mainly present in between the bones ,joints and muscles and tendons. They are present in the large joints of the hand and leg and cenclose the synovial fluid.

Submuscular bursa are present underneath the muscles.

A bunion is an adventitious bursa that develops beneath the base of the big toe in association with the hallux vulgaris (deviation of the first toe such that it lies on top of or below the other toes).

Any type of inflammation of the bursae is called bursitis. The cause of most cases of bursitis appears to be local mechanical irritation, although bursas may also be involved along with the joints and tendon sheaths in rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Diseases of the bursa also occur in domestic animals. Capped elbow and capped hock are examples of chronic bursitis in horses, resulting from lying on hard floors


The role of the bursa is to act as a cushion and allow the tendon to move over bone as it contracts and relaxes. It's a fibrous sac lined with synovial fluid. The bursa itself is a synovial lining that represents a potential space, insofar as it is collapsed upon itself until a resulting trigger causes the bursa to become irritated and fill with synovial fluid. The patient experiences pain when the inflamed bursa is then compressed against bone, muscle, tendon, ligaments, or skin. 

Clinical signs & symptoms




Limited motions

Localized tenderness

Differential Diagnosis

  • X-ray. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make pictures of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An imaging test that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed pictures of organs and structures within the body.
  • Ultrasound. An imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to look at the internal organs and tissues.
  • Aspiration. A procedure that involves using a thin needle to remove fluid from the swollen bursa to check for infection or gout as causes of bursitis.
  • Blood tests. Lab tests may be done to confirm or rule out other conditions


The prognosis of bursitis id really very good


Do stretch exercises

Avoid repetative injuries

Using kneeling pads

Lifting the load cautiously

Reduce the body weight

Eat fish or twice a week-since fish contains omega 3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation in the bone.

Exercise regularly and also do warm up and stretches.

Protect the joints and avoid joint injuries.

Recovery period:

It is a chronic  condition.It might takes months to years to go away.

When you find any swollen or mild inflammation seek the physician as soon as possible