What is Bursitis?

The body contains more than 150 bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that lubricate and cushion pressure joints between your bones and the tendons and muscles, helping your joints move with ease and without pain. However, when the bursa become inflamed, the movement and pressure becomes painful. Bursitis often occurs in the joints in the shoulders, elbows and hips, but also affects the knee, heel and the base of the big toe.


  • A dull ache or stiffness in the area around the shoulders, elbow, hip, knee, heel and big toe
  • The area feels swollen or warm
  • Skin redness
  • Worsening pain with movement or pressure


Bursitis is commonly caused by overuse, stress and direct trauma to a joint. It can also result from infection such as a staphylococcal infection, and arthritis or gout, but many times the cause will remain unknown. Repetitive motion is often a contributing factor to bursitis.


Treatment of bursitis is generally conservative and non-invasive. Very rarely is surgery recommended. If it is determined that the bursitis is caused by an infection a course of antibiotics will be recommended by your podiatrist.


  1. The Mayo Clinic