The Various Causes and Risk Factors of Bursitis

Girl holding her ankle after running

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  • There are different causes you should be aware of, and most of them depend on what kind of physical activity is putting strain on your body
  • In some cases, an infection can cause bursitis. This occurs when you have a bursa close to the surface of your skin, and that particular area becomes wounded

What causes bursitis  to occur? There are different causes you should be aware of, and most of them depend on what kind of physical activity is putting strain on your body. There are over 160 bursae located all over your body, but the most common ones that develop inflammation are located in the following areas:1

Elbows: Bursitis in the elbow is usually caused by repetitive motions that put strain on this area. It’s nicknamed “tennis elbow” due to the fact that tennis players usually get it. Golfers are another common group affected with this condition.

Knees: Repeated pressure on the knees can result in a condition called infrapatellar bursitis, also known as the clergyman’s knee. If you have inflammation in this area, the pain will be mostly concentrated on the front of the knee, and comes with some swelling.

Shoulders: Shoulder bursitis usually occurs when actions such as overhead lifting and reaching are done repetitively. One or both shoulders bursae may develop bursitis.

Buttocks: The bursa in your pelvis can become inflamed if it is pressed against a hard surface, such as a bicycle seat, for a long time. Inflammation can also occur due to an injury, such as falling down on your buttocks on a hard surface.

Ankles: The ankle is a common area that can develop bursitis due to walking around too much in uncomfortable or poor-fitting shoes. As with other areas that can develop bursitis, your ankle can develop it if it is injured as well. This is especially common among ice skaters and other types of athletes.

Hips: Your hips can develop bursitis if you excessively train for long-distance marathons, and other running-related activities.

The Risk Factors That Lead to Bursitis

Anyone can develop bursitis, and it can even occur in multiple locations in your body.2 However, certain groups of people are more susceptible to developing it, depending on certain factors:3

  • Age: Older age groups, such as middle-aged people and the elderly, are more susceptible to bursitis.
  • Occupation or activities: Certain hobbies or jobs that put repetitive strain on your bursa can lead to bursitis. Examples include carpet laying, gardening, playing musical instruments or participating in strenuous sports.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: Certain chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes can affect your bursa and lead to bursitis.

An Infection May Also Lead to Bursitis

In some cases, an infection can cause bursitis. This occurs when you have a bursa close to the surface of your skin, and that particular area becomes wounded. The opening allows bacteria to enter easily, causing an infection. While this doesn’t typically happen to people that have healthy skin, it can be problematic to people who have problems with wound repair, such as those who are diabetic, have HIV/AIDS, currently undergoing chemotherapy or are suffering from alcoholism.

MORE ABOUT BURSITIS

Bursitis: An Introduction

What Is Bursitis?

Bursitis Types

Hip Bursitis

Elbow Bursitis

Knee Bursitis

Shoulder Bursitis

Heel Bursitis

Septic Bursitis

Bursitis Causes

Bursitis Symptoms

Bursitis Treatment

Bursitis Prevention

Bursitis Diet

Bursitis FAQ

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