The Causes, Prevention and Treatment of Bursitis

Bursitis is a very common ailment, and it develops when the bursa gets inflamed or irritated. The bursa is a sac filled with a lubricating fluid, which is situated between tissues such as skin, tendons, muscle and bone. The fluid helps to decrease irritation, friction and rubbing.

Causes of Bursitis

Repetitive movements or positions that damage the bursae around a joint can lead to bursitis.Age has also been linked to the condition. Tendons in older people are less elastic and can tolerate less stress.

Injury to a joint also increases the risk of bursitis. High-risk activities that could cause bursitis include shoveling, carpentry, scrubbing, painting, throwing, skiing, golf, pitching and raking. Inadequate stretching at home or work can also cause bursitis

An abnormal joint or a poorly placed joint can also damage the bursa sac. Inflammation from conditions such as gout, thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis may also increase the risk. Additionally, some infections can also cause the inflammation of the bursa.

Prevention of Bursitis

Not all types of bursitis can be avoided, but you can lessen the severity and risk of the flare-ups by changing how you do certain tasks.

  • Use kneeling pads: Kneeling pads works well for people whose hobbies or jobs need a lot of kneeling. The pads lessen pressure on the knees.
  • Lift properly: Ensure that you bend your knees when lifting something. Otherwise, you’ll end up putting extra stress on your hips’ bursae.
  • Wheel heavy loads: Heavy loads put a lot of pressure on your shoulders’ bursae. It is recommended that you use a wheel cart or dolly to move heavy loads
  • Take frequent breaks: Break more frequently and alternate tasks with rest.
  • Walk around: Avoid sitting in one place for a prolonged period, especially hard surfaces as they exert pressure on the bursae.
  • Check your weight: Excess weight puts too much pressure on your hips which may lead to the inflammation of the bursae
  • Exercise: You need to strengthen your muscles to protect the affected joints.
  • It is also important that you stretch and warm up before engaging in strenuous activities.

Treatment of Bursitis

Most people use over the counter painkillers and self-care to treat bursitis. Although the swelling takes some time to disappear completely, the condition often improves in a few weeks.


If your bursitis does not respond to treatment or the symptoms are severe, you should go for corticosteroid injections. These injections contain steroids that have proven to be very effective in reducing inflammation.

Your doctor may also inject a corticosteroid into the affected area. However, corticosteroid injections are not recommended for people with septic bursitis.


Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have septic bursitis. These include erythromycin, flucloxacillin, and clarithromycin. Antibiotics for bursitis are often taken as capsules or tablets four times a day for seven days. Your doctor will check how you are doing after seven days.

If the symptoms persist, you will need to take antibiotics for seven more days. It is recommended that you complete your dose of antibiotics as this will help to prevent infections that may occur in the future.