Bursitis is a common term, but people can mix it up with other joint pain caused by strains or injury. Dr. Dini treats bursitis in many of his patients, so here’s a primer on this pain in the shoulder, elbow, hips, and knees.


Technically, bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid. Bursa sacs can be found at various locations as cushions between bone, muscle, tendons, and skin. Their job is to reduce rubbing, friction, and irritation.


The bursae normally enable fluid movement but if they are overworked or over taxed they can fill with fluid and become inflamed and painful. When irritated a bursa can become gritty and rough, creating painful friction in the joint — bursitis.

Bursitis is most often caused by repetitive stress or repeated minor impact on the area. It can also come from a sudden, more serious injury. Age can also be a factor, as our tendons become less elastic as we age and are more easily stressed and able to develop minor tears.


Bursitis can develop from overuse of a joint during work or play. Jobs or activities can lead to bursitis. Many of these stressors can be alleviated or minimized by proper stretching prior to doing the activity. These are activities that can lead to bursitis:


Bursitis inflammation usually responds to simple treatments, but it may take many weeks to fully subside. Rest, avoiding the activities that intensify discomfort, icing, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are the usual first steps. If those aren’t proving adequate, Dr. Dini may prescribe stronger oral medications and possibly opt for corticosteroiod injections at the site of inflammation. Physical therapy is often part of the treatment.

Do you think you may have bursitis in a shoulder, hip, or knee? Call Dr. Dini at his Los Angeles, (323) 525-0101, or Encino, (818) 784-1020, locations to make an appointment.



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