A bursa is a thin sac. It lies between bone and soft tissue near certain joints. A healthy bursa allows smooth movement of soft tissue over the bone. Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. This 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:
- A blow to an area containing a bursa
- Repetitive stress on the bursa
- Infection in bursa
- Long periods of pressure on joint—leaning on elbows, sitting or kneeling on hard surfaces
- Medical conditions that cause inflammation in joints such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout
If the stress is not relieved, bursitis can become chronic (long term) condition. This can make permanent changes of the bursa.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.