Bursitis is the inflammationof one or more bursae, or small sacks of oil, in the body. The term bursa (plural bursae) is Latin for purse, which is what a bursa resembles. The bursae rest at the points where internal functionaries, like musclesand tendons, slide across bone. In the bursae's proper state, they create a smooth and almost frictionless surface over which to glide. With hundreds of them throughout the body they provide this surface for all human motion, making movement ideally painless. When bursitis takes hold, however, those movements that rely on the inflamed bursa become rough and painful. Movement of tendons and muscles over the inflamed bursa only causes it to become more inflamed, perpetuating the problem.
Bursitis is commonly caused by repetition of movement or excessive pressure. The elbowand the kneeare the most common because they are rested upon more than many parts of the body with bursae and they also get the most repetitive use. Bursitis can also occur because of other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, which can inflame a bursa. Scoliosishas also been known to be a cause.
The other main cause of bursitis is traumatic injury, which can cause swelling of the bursae. The swelling itself causes irritation because the sac will no longer fit in the small area between the two objects and so the bone begins to pressure it and bursitis ensues.
- MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary
- About.com's General Bursitis Informationde:Bursitis
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bursitis Wikipedia article Bursitis.