When the joints move, tissues such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin move on the bone in the human body. Bursae (bursae) are tiny sacs containing a liquid located around the bones and act like cushions and facilitate the sliding of surfaces on each other.
There are more than 140 bursae in the human body, each of which is like a small cushion containing some fluid and placed between bones and soft tissues. Each bursa consists of a cover called a synovial membrane, a thin layer whose cells make the fluid inside the bursa, called synovial fluid.
What is bursitis?
Bursitis is a painful condition caused by irritation or inflammation in the bursa. During inflammation, the blood supply to the affected area increases, which causes pain and swelling. Bursitis usually occurs around the shoulder, elbow, hip, or knee joints, although it can also be seen in other areas such as around the heel and the base of the big toe.
What is the cause of bursitis?
In most cases, bursitis is caused by repetitive movements of the joints or being in positions that increase pressure on the joint and bursa, such as leaning on the elbows for a long time or kneeling on hard surfaces. Other less common causes of bursitis include infection, trauma, and underlying diseases such as rheumatism and gout.
Among the risk factors of developing bursitis, the following can be mentioned:
- Age: The risk of this disease increases with age.
- Job: performing repetitive activities or putting long-term pressure on the joints exposes a person to bursitis. Among the activities and occupations predisposing to bursitis are gardening, painting, servants who kneel on the ground for a long time, and musicians of musical instruments.
- Obesity: Overweight people are at risk of knee and hip bursitis.
- Other disorders: Some underlying diseases at the same time increase the risk of developing bursitides, such as gout, diabetes, arthritis, and joint rheumatism.
What are the symptoms of bursitis?
- Pain (especially when touching the inflamed area)
- Swelling and redness of the affected area
- Joint dryness
- Difficulty walking, especially in hip bursitis and around the heel (retrocalcaneal)
In the case of infectious bursitis, in addition to pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected area, the patient also has fever and lethargy, which requires an immediate visit to the doctor and rapid diagnostic and therapeutic measures.
In patients with comorbidity like impaired immune system situations or metabolic disorders, infectious bursitis can be fatal.
If you have the following, it is better to see a doctor as soon as possible:
- Severe and debilitating joint pain
- Inability to move the joint that occurs suddenly
- Swelling, redness, or skin lesions on the affected area
- Presence of fever and lethargy.