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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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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