Bursitis - housemaid's knee
Bursitis candevelop in three main ways. It can be caused by an injury or infection, oras the result of a pre-existing health condition.
If a bursa(the small fluid-filled sac which forms around the joints) is injured, the tissue inside it can become irritated, leading to inflammation (swelling).
In most cases, the injury develops overtime because joints, muscles and tendons near the bursae are overused. Repetitive movement is a particular risk for this type of injury.
Waysthat the bursa can be injured include:
Abursacan also be injured following a sudden impact, such as banging your elbow or by falling heavily on to your knees.
Bursae near the surface of your skin, such as those near your elbow, can become infected if bacteria find their way into cuts and grazes and then move into a bursa. Bursitis caused by an infection isknown as septic bursitis .
The immune system (the body's natural defence against injury and illness) usually prevents this typeof infection, soseptic bursitis tends to only occur in people with a weakened immune system. This can bebecause ofa long-term condition, such as HIV and AIDS , or takingcertain medication, such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy . Alcoholism, diabetes and some kidney conditions canalso put people at a higher risk.
Anumber of health conditions can sometimes cause a bursa to become inflamed. These include:
Bursitis is where a bursa becomes swollen and inflamed. A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that forms under the skin, usually over the joints and between tendons and bones.
Bursitis causes pain, inflammation and tenderness in the affected body part.
Bursitis can be caused by an injury, an infection, or it can be the result of a pre-existing health condition that causes the bursa to become inflamed.
Your GP will usually be able to make a confident diagnosis of bursitis by carrying out a physical examination of the affected body part.
Most cases of bursitis can be successfully treated using a combination of self-care techniques and over-the-counter painkillers.
There are a number of commonsense precautions you can take to prevent getting bursitis.