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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is bursitis?
Bursitis is swelling and irritation of your bursa. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that help reduce the friction when tendons or ligaments rub against other structures such as bones, muscles and skin, reducing any wear and tear.
What are the symptoms of bursitis?
Common symptoms of bursitis include pain, swelling and redness when using the affected joint; constant pain that becomes worse at night, and; stiffness, aching and decreased range of movement.
What causes bursitis?
Bursitis can be caused by a wide range of factors, including: Overuse and/or repetitive movements; Injury; Infections entering the bursa due to a scratch or injury (septic bursitis), and; Underlying health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudogout and …
How is bursitis diagnosed?
Your doctor may be able to diagnose bursitis from your medical history and examination of the affected joint. Bursae close to the surface of your skin are easier to examine, but deeper-placed bursae may require imaging scans, such as an ultrasound or magnetic …
How is bursitis treated?
Bursitis may be treated initially by resting the affected area and applying an ice or heat pack on the affected area. You may be prescribed pain-relief and anti-inflammatory medication. If you have an infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. Very severe swelling …
What can be done at home to treat bursitis?
At home, it often helps to give the affected joint time to heal by reducing its use for a few days. Icing the affected bursa, for short periods of time, can help to reduce the swelling and pain. Alternatively, a heat pack may provide some relief.
Will bursitis keep coming back?
Yes, once you have bursitis it does tend to recur. The best policy is to maintain good health of your joints through careful exercise, weight management and taking care with repetitive actions.
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 26 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
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