What is Bursitis?

Before we discuss bursitis, we must understand what bursae are. There are 160 bursae in the human body. A bursa is an enclosed sac that is filled with fluid. These structures help reduce friction between tissues in your body, such as in the knees, shoulders, elbows, hips, and ankles. Some of the more common forms of this condition are knee bursitis and Achilles bursitis (bursitis in the heel).

When a bursa becomes inflamed, this is known as bursitis. This can happen from an injury to the area, overuse, infection, or from a sudden increase in activity level. The patient will feel pain and tenderness in the area, and in some cases there may be swelling. There is usually no loss in range of motion.

Treatment for bursitis begins with your doctor. Treatment often focuses on reducing inflammation by resting the area and applying cold compresses. In some cases, the fluid in the bursa may need to be removed. If there is infection present, treatment may need to be further evaluated and more aggressive.