Bursitis and tendinitis are both common conditions that cause swelling around muscles and bones. They occur most often in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle; mainly joints that are in heavy use. Both conditions also get more common with age.
A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a bone and other moving body parts such as muscles, tendons, or skin. Bursae are found throughout the body. Bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes swollen. Bursitis appears as a “puffy”, fluid-filled sac on the joint area. Bursitis is mainly caused by overuse of a joint, when an individual repeats the same motion, putting pressure on the joint day after day. Bursitis is more common in athlete’s and those who perform a lot of physical labor.
A tendon is a flexible band of tissue that connects muscles to bones. They vary quite a lot in size and certain tendons are used a lot more than others. Tendons help create movement by making the muscles push or pull the bones in different ways. When a strenuous movement is repeated on a daily basis, it can cause the tendons to become swollen. Tendinitis is the severe swelling of a tendon. When the tendon becomes swollen movement can become difficult and cause discomfort in and around the joint. Tendinitis is often referred to as “jumper’s knee” or “tennis elbow”, as it is extremely common in athletes who put excess strain on any specific joint.