Articles researched and written by Sally Ann Quirke, a fully qualified professional chartered Physiotherapist based in Ireland.

Bursitis Explained

If you have bursitis, then what this essentially is is an inflammation of your bursa –and as you probably already realise, bursitis will almost always cause pain!

A bursa is a sac of synovial or lubricating fluid, positioned between bone, muscles tendons and skin. They are found around all over the body (over 150 of them in total!) where your tendons and muscles glide directly over bones. Their appearance is rather like a fluid filled “cushion” and basically that is their role - to function as a cushion-like barrier. The main ones that we see problems with are are located in the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.

If the space for a bursa is compromised in any way, it may get pinched and irritated. Over time this will result in inflammation and eventually this inflamed bursa will cause pain. This condition is known as Bursitis

Firstly, the pain will result from the tendon or muscle rubbing against the inflamed bursa. Then, continued irritation can lead to the tendon or muscle becoming inflamed and painful. This explains why we often see bursitis and tendonitis existing side by side. However, both bursitis and tendonitis can exist independently of each other.

This section of the website provides articles on the symptoms and treatment of bursitis, along with a closer look at bursitis in the hips, shoulders, elbows and knees.

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Bursitis Symptoms »

Bursitis symptoms

The symptoms of bursitis always involve pain around the affected joint. It can be acute during exercise and can cause a burning dull ache after exercise. Night time aching is common and morning stiffness around the affected bursa is usual!

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Bursitis Treatment »

Bursitis Treatment

Generally, rest and ice will be sufficient to reduce the inflammation, but if there is no noticeable progress then further investigation is required.

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Hip Bursitis »

Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis involves a bursa in the hip region. The most common location for hip bursitis is over the outside of your upper thigh. It is also one of the most painful bursitis presentations that I see in my physiotherapy…

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Knee Bursitis »

Knee Bursitis

Knee Bursitis is a common condition that usually occurs at the top of your knee. Caused by inflammation of a fluid-filled sacs (bursae), the symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness and redness. Expert treatment advice from a Chartered Physiotherapist.

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Elbow Bursitis »

Elbow bursitis is very common and very painful! Read on to find out more.

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Shoulder Bursitis »

Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis is where there is inflammation of a bursa around the shoulder. However, it can often be confused with an inflammation of the rotor cuff, which is a tendon structure around the shoulder joint.

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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