By printing and/or reading this article, you agree that you accept all terms and conditions of use, as specified online.

Tendinitis and Bursitis

BonesUse a piece of machinery one too many times, and it just may eventually wear out. While humans are certainly not made of metal, plastic or rubber, our bones, muscles and tendons act somewhat like a machine's moving parts. Problems that can develop from overuse include tendinitis and bursitis.

Tendinitis and bursitis are inflammations of the soft tissue around the muscles and bones, most commonly in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle. They are considered rheumatic diseases. (Read about "Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases") According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the pain associated with tendinitis or bursitis is most often located over a joint, and is most frequently caused by overuse. ACR says the two problems are common in both the young and the old, but especially in people who are physically active.

Tendinitis - ACR defines tendinitis as the inflammation (redness, soreness and swelling) of a tendon. A tendon attaches muscle to bone.

Bursitis - Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is the small sac filled with fluid that cushions muscles and tendons, or muscles and bones.

The symptoms of both bursitis and tendinitis are similar according to ACR. They can include:

The Arthritis Foundation (AF) lists the following as some of the causes of tendinitis and bursitis:

According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), tendinitis and bursitis can occur in a number of areas of the body from head to toe.

Diagnosis and treatment options

Diagnosing tendinitis and bursitis, according to ACR, requires a careful medical history taken by your physician as well as a physical examination of the painful areas. X-rays, ACR says, may help exclude bony abnormalities, but tendons and bursa usually do not appear on x-rays. (Read about "X-rays")

The good news is that bursitis and tendinitis, according to AF, often go away on their own. The goal is to minimize pain and inflammation. Depending on the type of injury, AF says relief can come in the following forms:

Keeping tendinitis and bursitis from recurring is crucial, according to ACR. The agency recommends warming up before exercise and using correct posture during exercise (Read about "Stretching and Health"), as well as using an ergonomically correct work area. The objective is to keep your moving parts moving freely and painlessly, for years to come.

Related Information:

    Skeletal System

    Repetitive Stress

    Avoid Sports Injuries



All Concept Communications material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.

© Concept Communications Media Group LLC

Online health topics reviewed/modified in 2020 | Terms of Use/Privacy Policy

By printing and/or reading this article, you agree that you accept all terms and conditions of use, as specified online.