Bursitis is a common musculoskeletal condition that causes pain with movement in the joints. It is an inflammation of the bursa. The bursa are small fluid filled sacs surrounding joints that help keep them lubricated. The most common bursitis location is the shoulder. Bursitis can occur at any age, but it is most common after the age of thirty. The shoulder is often afflicted as it is commonly used on a regular basis, for lifting, carrying, and participation in sports.

The most significant symptom of shoulder bursitis is pain when the arm is lifted away from the body. That is to mean when it is extended outward, where the upper arm is at a ninety degree angle to the torso. The shoulder pain is not as bad when the arm is moved forward or downward.  The reason why the outward movement in shoulder bursitis is so painful is that when the arm is extended outward, it causes the shoulder bone to directly push down on the bursa. The bursa lies flat on the shoulder area and when inflamed, this motion causes the bone to press on the irritated sac. This pain can be significant and affect one’s daily routine.

Bursitis can occur in the knee, hip, or ankle, and pressure on the bursa is what causes pain. Usually excessive movement from sports activities or heavy lifting is the culprit that brings on the inflammation. Fortunately, bursitis is not a serious issue. It can be helped by placing an ice pack on the inflamed area. If the pain persists, a visit to an orthopedist can help. The doctor can inject a steroid anti-inflammatory and pain relieving solution into the affected joint. This relieves bursitis in most cases. If pain persists in the area, another injection can be administered as well as physical therapy.

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