Symptoms and causes

Symptoms

If you have bursitis, the affected joint might:

  • Feel achy or stiff
  • Hurt more when you move it or press on it
  • Look swollen and red

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor if you have:

  • Disabling joint pain
  • Sudden inability to move a joint
  • Excessive swelling, redness, bruising or a rash in the affected area
  • Sharp or shooting pain, especially when you exercise or exert yourself
  • A fever

Causes

The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. Examples include:

  • Throwing a baseball or lifting something over your head repeatedly
  • Leaning on your elbows for long periods
  • Extensive kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors

Other causes include injury or trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop bursitis, but certain factors can increase your risk:

  • Age. Bursitis becomes more common with aging.
  • Occupations or hobbies. If your work or hobby requires repetitive motion or pressure on particular bursae, your risk of developing bursitis increases. Examples include carpet laying, tile setting, gardening, painting and playing a musical instrument.
  • Other medical conditions. Certain systemic diseases and conditions — such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes — increase your risk of developing bursitis. Being overweight can increase your risk of developing hip and knee bursitis.
Aug. 12, 2017
References
  1. Todd DJ. Bursitis: An overview of clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  2. Tendonitis and bursitis. American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Tendinitis_and_Bursitis/. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  3. Hip bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00409. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  4. Bursitis and tendonitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bursitis/. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  5. Bursitis. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/bursitis/. Accessed June 27, 2017.