Inflammation of the bursa is called bursitis. The bursa is a closed fluid filled sac present in the joint cavities. It acts as a cushion between joint bones, tendons and muscles. It enables the bones, tendons and muscles in the joints to glide against each other without causing friction during movements.
Injury to a joint or overuse of the joint in activities involving repeated movement of a specific joint triggers swelling of a bursa, leading to bursitis. Bursitis may also develop due to an infection. Bursitis can also be a symptom of arthritis, tendinitis, gout, thyroid disorder or diabetes. Bursitis is classified according to the location of the bursae. Although the human body has about 160 bursae, it is the major bursae that are susceptible to bursitis.
Types Of Bursitis
Inflammation of the bursa located between the Achilles tendon, the tendon that connects the calf muscle with the heel bone, and the heel bone is known as Albert’s disease. This type of bursitis is also called retromalleolar tendon bursitis or anterior Achilles tendon bursitis.
It develops when the Achilles tendon is injured or strained. Wearing footwear that exerts excess strain on the Achilles tendon is a common cause of this type of bursitis. Infections and rheumatoid arthritis can also be responsible for this condition.
Hugland’s deformity, also known as posterior Achilles tendon bursitis, causes inflammation of the bursa that lies between the Achilles tendon and the skin of the heel. This form of bursitis usually develops when a bony projection, commonly known as pump bump, develops on the back of the heel bone.
It is more common in women who wear high-heeled shoes. When the soft tissues behind the heel repeatedly press against the hard back support of the shoe, the excess strain exerted on the posterior bursa leads to painful inflammation of the bursa.
Also known as Pes Anserine bursitis or goosefoot bursitis, knee bursitis develops when the bursa lying between the shinbone and the hamstring tendons becomes inflamed.
This form of bursitis is more common in runners. Obesity, osteoarthritis of the knees and incorrect exercising techniques can also cause knee bursitis.
Trochanteric bursitis is the most common form of hip bursitis. Inflammation of the bursa that lies between the lateral part of the hip, known as the greater trochanter, and the skin causes this form of hip bursitis. Repeated stress to the bursa due to running, standing, cycling and climbing stairs for a long time, injury to the hip, rheumatoid arthritis, formation of bony spurs, spine problems and hip surgery are common causes of trochanteric bursitis. Another less common form of hip bursitis occurs when the bursa that lies on the front of the hip, in the groin area, becomes swollen.
Inflammation of the olecranon bursa located between the back of the elbow bone and the skin causes elbow or olecranon bursitis. This form of bursitis develops when excess pressure is exerted on the elbow owing to activities that require leaning the elbow on a hard surface for a long time. Injury to the elbow, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infections of the olecranon bursa can also cause elbow bursitis.