Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Bursitis
Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a small sac of fluid that cushions and lubricates an area where tissues—including bone, tendon, ligament, muscle, or skin—rub against one another. Bursae are located throughout the body, in and on joints and other places that are at risk of rubbing or pressure.
Bursitis can be caused by prolonged or repeated pressure on a bursa or by activities that require repeated twisting or rapid joint movement. It can also be caused by trauma or by infection or systemic diseases such as arthritis. Symptoms of bursitis may include:
Bursitis can often be treated at home by resting, applying ice or cold packs to the affected area, and avoiding the activities that irritate the area or cause pain. If the area is warm and red, an infection may also be present. This requires medical evaluation.
Traumatic bursitis is bleeding in a bursa caused by a direct blow to the bursa.
Septic bursitis is an infection of a bursa, which sometimes results from traumatic bursitis. Septic bursitis requires medical treatment. This may include surgery and/or a hospital stay for intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy.
Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.