Bursitis is a relatively common condition that can cause joint pain, swelling and tenderness. Bursa are fluid filled cushions located at points of friction, most commonly between a muscle or tendon, and bone. Their purpose is to provide protection to the joints and surrounding soft tissues, and to offer lubrication for the muscle or tendon to slide across the bone during activity.
Bursitis is inflammation and swelling of the bursa and usually occurs at the shoulder, elbow, hip or knee, however it can occur anywhere in the body.
Bursa can become inflamed as a result of direct injury, or repetitive movements that over time lead to wear and tear.
The condition can also be a result of other inflammatory causes such as Rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.
With bursitis any movement that involves the affected bursa will be painful as the motion of the tendon and muscle across the bone irritates the inflamed bursa which tends to perpetuate the problem. The involved joint and surrounding muscles can then become tight and restricted.
The pain is usually worse during and after activity and commonly the joint will be achy and stiff the following day.
Bursitis commonly occurs in footballers and rugby players as a result of collisions or injuries, and often to joiners, electricians, tilers and gardeners who have to spend a lot of time kneeling down.
Treatment of bursitis depends on the cause of it, but it often involves resting the affected joint, applying ice, and chiropractic care if suitable to relieve muscular tension, reduce inflammation, and restore normal joint function and biomechanics.