Bursitis often occurs in particularly heavily loaded joints. These include the shoulder, the elbow, the hip and the knee. Learn more about specific symptoms and treatment options for bursitis in each joint.
Bursitis in the shoulder
Bursitis in the shoulder particularly affects professional groups who often work over their heads, such as janitors or painters. But also household activities, in which the arm is repeatedly raised beyond the horizontal, such as when cleaning the windows, can cause a bursitis in the shoulder.
The bursa below the shoulder is usually affected by the inflammation - this form of bursitis is also called bursitis subacromialis. It is characterized by severe pain in the shoulder, which occurs especially at night. To relieve the pain, not only painkillers, but also anti-inflammatory syringes are often used.
Bursitis in the elbow
The bursa of the elbow is located directly under the skin and is therefore particularly susceptible to inflammation. Usually, a bursitis in the elbow caused by a persistent irritation - for example, because the elbows are constantly supported when reading or working. This form of chronic bursitis is also referred to as a student elbow.
However, the biceps on the elbow are also susceptible to inflammation caused by injury: a fall on the elbow or an open wound that allows bacteria to enter can quickly lead to inflammation.
Bursitis on the hip
There are a variety of bursa around the hip joint. If inflammation occurs, it usually manifests itself in the upper part of the thigh bone at the junction with the hip. The pain caused by the inflammation can radiate to the buttocks.
Bursitis in the knee
The three main bursae of the knee, as well as the bursa of the elbow are particularly susceptible to bursitis due to their location just below the skin. Depending on which bursa is inflamed, a distinction is made in the knee between three different inflammations:
- Prepatellar bursitis: In this form, the bursa, which lies on the patella and acts as a buffer between the skin and the patella, is affected.
- Bursitis infrapatellaris: In this form, the bursa underlying the kneecap is affected.
- Pes-anserinus bursitis: In this form, the bursa, which is located below the so-called Pes anserinus (goosefoot), affected.
Most bursitis in the knee is caused by frequent kneeling.
Prevent a bursitis
To prevent bursitis, repeated pressure on certain joints should be avoided. Otherwise, the constant stress can cause an inflammation.
Certain occupational groups that are particularly at risk due to joint-loading activities - such as tilers - should protect themselves with aids such as knee or elbow pads. For people with office jobs, padded chairs and underarm pads are recommended. On the other hand, if bursitis occurs due to athletic strain, special attention should be paid to running shoes that are gentle on the joints and a clean movement.
If the first symptoms occur in the shoulder, elbow or knee, the stressful movement should be avoided and the joint should be cooled and immobilized for some time. This often prevents a full blown bursitis.