Healthy Living

Risk Factors For Bursitis

Risk Factors For Bursitis

Key Takeaways

  • What is bursitis?
  • Risk factors that cause bursitis
  • Common body parts where bursitis occurs

Bursitis is a condition that can affect just about anyone, depending on different conditions such as the environment, regular activities the person engages in, or even the current health status of a person. The condition more commonly affects the elderly, women, and people with very weak bodies.

Bursitis is characterized by swelling and inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac which acts as a cushion between the joints of either tendons, bones, or muscles. Once the bursa is inflamed or swollen, it causes pain in the affected area. 

One of the most common reasons for getting bursitis is age. This is because as people age, they most likely have worn out bones and muscles, and bursitis is usually the result of a repetitive sort of injury. Older people tend not to stretch their tendons the same way they used to when they were younger. A man or woman over the age of 50 will probably strain or tear a tendon than a younger person.

The doctor will examine the patient by studying the gait for any form of abnormalities. The bones of the lower back and knee will also be checked, including how strong the legs are and the full range of motion of these legs. Tests - such as MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound - are used to make the diagnosis.

Septic bursitis is quite rare. The main culprit for this is bacteria which infect the bursae located in the hips. The same kind of bacteria is found in gout, which can be a causative agent for this type of bursitis. Usually occuring in male patients, gout is a disorder of the metabolism. The patient has a lot of uric acid in the joints which would then cause swelling. 

Another probable reason for bursitis are anatomical anomalies. If the patient’s legs are of different lengths, where one leg is markedly shorter than the other, it puts significant strain on the joint, leading to inflammation and causing hip bursitis. 

Trochanteric bursitis is when the outside of the hip has severe pain that manifests strongly after a physical activity like climbing or walking. This can cause frequent sleep disruption since it is located on the side of the body.

Risk Factors for Bursitis

The risk factors for this condition depends on the target area. It is advisable to keep these risk factors in mind if you want to prevent bursitis.

Health Problems

When a person is suffering from infections such as arthritis or scoliosis, he/she is likely to get hip bursitis. Such conditions weaken the affected area, thus increasing the chances of suffering from bursitis. Rheumatoid arthritis or surgery around some areas, such as the hips, can also lead to bursitis.

Eating Habits

When a person eats some that can affect tissue formation, which then makes it susceptible to getting bursitis. Foods with high levels of calcium can cause excess calcium in a person’s bones, which could then cause bursitis. Osteoarthritis and obesity are also among the risk factors. Obese women who have osteoarthritis are likely to suffer anserine bursitis which affects the joints around the knees. 

Injuries

Whenever you perform physical activities, it is important to avoid injuries around the joints. The bursae are very sensitive parts of the body that when injured can cause a lot of pain in the joints. Some of these injuries can be around the knees and shoulders brought about by kneeling on hard surfaces and lifting heavy objects. Injuries can also be caused by strenuous activities and repetitive motion such as running, standing for long periods of time, or biking.

Lack of Exercise

Exercise strengthens the muscles and bones of a person. People who do not exercise slowly make their bodies weak, especially around the joint and muscle areas. These people are more prone to suffer from bursitis.

Taking Part in Certain Sports

A number of sporting activities should be done with a lot of care. Athletes are likely to suffer from inflammation of the inner part of the knee, also known as anserine bursitis. Tennis players often suffer such condition on their shoulders. Other sports like wrestling, volleyball, and football can cause direct and frequent blows to the knees. 

Posture

Sitting or standing behaviors can lead to bursitis. When one sits for a long time with the same posture, it strains the hip joints and can cause bursitis. Leaning on the elbow for too long can injure it, causing inflammation and may eventually become bursitis of the elbow. Standing behavior also matters a lot. In case you stand for long periods of time, with the same posture, it strains the knees and legs. Again, inflammation might ensue. 

There are other factors that are a risk to getting bursitis. These are like wearing the wrong shoes. Wrong type of shoes and for a long period of time strain the ankles and may cause inflammation of the bursa.

Body Parts Where Bursitis Can Occur

Bursitis is often connected to a specific type of motion, especially excessive repetition of said motion, that can cause severe trauma. This affects different parts of the body such as:

Ankle – Wearing ill-fitting shoes while playing sports like ice-skating, basketball or badminton can cause ankle bursitis.

Buttocks - Prolonged sitting on a tough surface such as on a cycle can cause pain and trauma to the bursa in the buttocks.

Elbow – Constantly extending the elbow and bending during baseball or lawn tennis or even vacuuming can cause bursitis.

Hip - Hip bursitis is usually linked to an injury of the hip or even to arthritis.

Knee – Activities that require a lot of kneeling such as laying floor tiles or gardening can easily lead to bursitis of the knees. Falling and landing on the knee can also cause it.

Shoulder – Repetitive motion in which there is constant lifting of the arms overhead can inflame the rotator cuff in the shoulders.