Bursa serves as a lubricant, that is, to reduce the friction between the body tissues, which are continually moving over each other. Bursae are located close to the joints, between the skin and bone, or between the tendons and the bones. Due to pressure or injury to the adjacent joint, the mucous bag may be inflamed and filled with fluid; this condition is called bursitis.
The illness that occurs in the knees of kneeling people is a well-known example of bursitis in the patella. Other joints that are particularly ”sensitive” to bursitis are the joints of the elbow, heel, the base of the toenail and the shoulders.
What to do?
Bursitis is not a serious disease. It usually disappears by itself after a week or two, especially if you do not press the painful spot while it is swollen. If problems persist, consult a physician who will check your joint to set a diagnose. To reduce an eventual swell, the doctor will use a needle and syringe to draw the fluid out of the painful area and then tighten the joint.
Bursitis can re-appear on certain parts of the body. In that case, it would be advisable to remove the bursa that is causing the problem. The surgical procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia and, in most cases, it is not necessary to stay in hospital for longer than 24 hours. If the procedure can not be performed, as with painful bursa deep in the shoulder tissues, the most successful treatment is corticosteroid injection or local anesthetic in the most painful area.