What is bursitis and how is it going to affect my elbow?

My mom is sure that because my elbow has been cracking a lot recently I must have bursitis. She won’t explain what it is, if it’s degenerative, and how I can treat it, and I’d like to know because I use my elbow a lot.
I’m 17, and I don’t think I have bursitis, my mom does.

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  1. acdshottie, 31 March, 2010

    My boyfriend has bursitis in his shoulder from swimming and golfing for years. The bursa can be thought of as a Ziplock bag with a small amount of oil and no air inside. Imagine rubbing this bag between your hands; movement of your hands would be smooth and effortless. That is what a bursa functions as–a smooth, slippery surface between two moving objects. You tend to find a bursa at points where muscles and tendons glide over bones. Without the bursa between these surfaces, movements would be painful.

    Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa. Normally, the bursa provides a slippery surface that has almost no friction. A problem arises when a bursa becomes inflamed. The bursa loses its gliding capabilities, and becomes more and more irritated when it is moved. When the condition called bursitis occurs, the normally slippery bursa becomes swollen and inflamed. The added bulk of the swollen bursa causes more friction within an already confined space. Also, the smooth gliding bursa becomes gritty and rough. Movement of an inflamed bursa is painful and irritating. You don’t typically hear a lot of "cracking" with itbut that could be a secondary affect of the bursitis.

    Bursitis usually results from a repetitive movement or due to prolonged and excessive pressure. Patients who rest on their elbows for long periods or those who bend their elbows frequently and repetitively can develop elbow bursitis, also called olecranon (because of the olecranon process in the elbow) bursitis.

    Another cause of bursitis is a traumatic injury. Following trauma, such as a car accident or fall, a patient may develop bursitis. Usually a contusion causes swelling within the bursa. The bursa, which had functioned normally up until that point, now begins to develop inflammation, and bursitis results. Once the bursa is inflamed, normal movements and activities can become painful.

    Your doctor can usually diagnose elbow bursitis on examination, but an x-ray will often be done to ensure the elbow joint itself appears normal. A MRI is not necessary to diagnose bursitis, but can be done if there is uncertainty about it.

    Occasionally, the swelling and inflammation can be the result of an infection within the bursa, this is called infected elbow bursitis. Patients with systemic inflammatory conditions, such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis, are also at increased risk of developing infected elbow bursitis.

  2. Hade, 31 March, 2010

    its a inflamattion inside the joint. Ice it

  3. W C, 31 March, 2010

    You are most likely to young to have Bursitis… Bursitis is an inflamation of the Bursa sack in the elbow joint… now commonly called tennis elbow… more than likely your "creaking" is do to your growing… you neglected to state how old you were. Treatments are done with steroids like Cortisone or one of the homeopathic preperations such as shark cartlege. The trouble with steroids is they dry up the fluid in the joint… that releives the discomfort for awhile. but it doesn’t take care of the condition. The idea is to lubricate the joint with additions to you diet. Check with a nutritional shop or a health food store.

  4. Lisa M, 31 March, 2010

    It’s an inflamation of the joint. Your doctor can prescribe medication for it to help reduce the inflamation and pain.

  5. sondra.hill@sbcglobal.net, 31 March, 2010

    Bursitis is a drying up of the bursa fluid in the joints and can cause pain. It can be alleviated by having an orthopedic doctor check it out and perhaps give you an injection of some type of cortisone. Maybe he can prescribe physical therapy for you.


  6. mrcricket1932, 31 March, 2010

    A bursa is a sac with a lubricant inside.. to facilitate a muscle riding over another group of muscles.. as under the shoulder blade..

    When you injure a joint, there is a buildup of fluid (edema) which not only can be painful but restrict the motion considerably. There is also a membrane covering the bone that can accumulate fluid between it and the bone. It can become very painful.

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