Bursitis can cause joint pain and tenderness at some of your body's major joints, like hips and shoulders, and understanding this condition will help you recognize when you need to seek medical help.
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa sac, a fluid-filled sac that sits at each joint where tendons and bones come together, WebMD said
"By reducing friction, each of the more than 150 bursae in your body helps the joints operate smoothly through the full range of natural movement," the website explained.
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While those sacs are extraordinarily helpful, they sometimes become inflamed or irritated, and a case of bursitis can quickly sideline your regular activities.
The most common places in your body to get bursitis are the shoulder, elbow, and hip, but that doesn't mean other joints can't become affected as well, The Mayo Clinic said
. "You can also have bursitis by your knee, heel and the base of your big toe. Bursitis often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion," the website explained.
Although like tendinitis, which occurs when tendons become inflamed, usually from repetitive motion, the way you move and work can cause bursitis. Mayo said tasks like leaning on your elbows for a long period of time, or kneeling on your knees, often done by carpet installers, carpenters, plumbers, and others in those kinds of professions, can cause the bursa to become inflamed.
In addition, diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and even infections can trigger bursitis, the website said.
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Dr. Daniel Aaron, at Brown University, told Science Daily that the typical hot spots of bursitis
, to which he added knees to the Mayo list, need to be checked by a doctor to make sure the bursitis isn't caused by an infection. Such conditions would have to be treated with medication.
It's important, he said, to distinguish between bursitis and other conditions, and added that most bursitis comes from trauma or infection.
"Hip and heel bursitis usually result from 'overuse' syndromes involving underlying structures related to the tendons," he told Science Daily. "Elbow and knee bursitis can be traumatic, due to either chronic low-level trauma or acute trauma, or infectious. Other inflammatory conditions can lead to bursitis as well."
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