The small, synovial fluid filled, jelly like sac which are located between a tendon and the skin, or between a tendon and bone, is commonly referred to as bursae. An inflammation of one or more bursae leads to a painful condition called bursitis.i
This condition is characterized by localized tenderness, intense pain and limited motion. The regions of the body generally affected by this painful condition include the elbows, hips, shoulders and the knees. Depending on the intensity of the inflammation, this condition can be categorized as chronic or acute bursitis. Sporadic episodes of bursitis pain may even erupt around the foot and also around the Achilles tendon.
There are numerous factors which can initiate or even aggravate this condition. Through this article we will check out some of the common causes of bursitis.
Common Causes of Bursitis
Trauma or Injury
One of the primary causes behind this condition is an injury. Deep bruising caused by muscular injuries may irritate the tissues which line the bursae. This in turn leads to brief but intense inflammation. When the bursae become inflamed it can cause bursistis.
Bursitis can also be triggered by infections. Infections of the bursae which are located between a tendon and the skin can cause bursitis. This is one of the common reasons for the condition called tennis elbow wherein a person may experience intense pain near the elbow.
Bacterial infection is the main culprit behind this type of bursitis. A small nick or surface wound offers the ideal opportunity for bacteria to enter the system. Once the bacterium invades the body it can cause swelling and inflammation of the bursae. This in turn triggers severe episodes of pain.
People who are diagnosed with diabetes, individuals with a weakened immune system, people who are taking steroids and those who are undergoing chemotherapy have higher chances of suffering from infectious bursitis.
Overuse of certain joints can also trigger this painful condition. When excessive stress or strain is placed on a certain joint, it can lead to inflammation. Clergyman’s knee, a term which refers to swelling and inflammation of the bursae located in the knees (brought about by prolonged kneeling) is a fine example of bursitis caused by overuse of a certain joint.
Making a conscious effort not to overuse a certain joint or put undue pressure on the bursae can help to avoid the painful condition called bursitis.
Inflammatory Arthritic Disease
People who suffer from inflammatory arthritic diseases like gout and rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of suffering from bursitis. Inflammatory arthritic diseases can cause certain inflammatory agents to be released into the bursae. This can cause severe inflammation inside the bursae which can lead to excruciating pain in the affected region.
Sometimes calcium crystals may develop inside the bursae. When this happens, there is a heightened risk of friction inside the bursae. In some rare circumstances it can even cause tearing inside the bursae. Friction or injury inside the bursae can also cause bursitis.
Another cause behind this condition is being overweight. People who are overweight have a higher risk of developing bursitis. Excess weight can put undue pressure on the joint. Over a period of time continued pressure exerted on the joints can lead to inflammation and pain. Inflammation and pain are the typical symptoms of bursitis.