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Bursitis is when one or more of the bursae in your body becomes inflamed. Bursa are tiny fluid containing sacks that lubricate and cushion the areas around joints muscles and tendons, There are more than 150 bursae in the human body.

The most common areas affected by bursitis is the shoulder, elbow and hip. They can appear any place in the body where a bursa is located.


Causes of Bursitis

Bursitis is caused by overuse and stress on a bursa. The irritation cause by repeated stress on joints or where tendons rub over bursae causes a bursa to become inflamed

Bursitis can also be caused by injury or trauma to a joint or bursa. This trauma causes the bursa to become inflamed. The most common injuries that lead to bursitis are injuries caused by overuse of an area of the body.

In infection near a bursa can also cause bursitis. This is much more common with people with compromised immune systems.

Arthritis is also a major cause of bursitis. The swelling and inflammation of a joint can put added pressure on the bursae located near the joint.

Diagnosis of Bursitis

Bursitis is usually diagnosed during a physical exam performed by a doctor.  The doctor may suspect bursitis when there is pain at a specific location near a joint body such as tenderness directly over a bursa and pain with movement of a specific area of the body. Another sign is when putting pressure on the area over a bursa causes discomfort. The doctor will then need to rule out other things that can cause similar symptoms. An X-ray will usually be given to rule at arthritis or damage to the bone or joint in the are. An X-ray will not show the bursitis.

Types of Bursitis

Modified 5-12-1012
Information compiled from the National Institutes of Health






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Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis. is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

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Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

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