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Tendonitis and Bursitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Reducing Symptoms, and Care
Last review: 08/12/10  J.R. Rogers

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons, the fibrous muscles that connect muscles to bones (Tennis elbow would be a classic example). A calcium deposit often accompanies tendonitis, causing inflammation. Bursitis is the inflammation of the fibrous sac that cushions the tendons.

A bursa is a small pocket of connective tissue that is located adjacent to the joint, which assists in the movement of muscles and tendons over bony surfaces. Bursitis develops when there is inflammation of the bursa and the result is tenderness, pain, stiffness and limited mobility. In many cases, swelling and redness will appear.

Bursitis visits your body in two different ways; acute episodes (short-term) and chronic (long-term). Occasionally, physicians will refer to Bursitis as Tendonitis and inflammation worsens.

Osteoarthritis and the Connection

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, there can often be Tendonitis or Bursitis setting in (The same is true of Rheumatoid Arthritis). Tendonitis can also be caused by an infection or secondary to Gout. However, the vast majority of cases are caused by sports trauma and repetitive activities.

The Symptoms

The most common areas where Tendonitis problems arise are the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, feet or toes. In a great many cases however, it is going to appear in the shoulder or elbow. Wherever it appears, you can expect to feel tenderness, pain and if the affected region is a joint area near the surface of the skin (as opposed to a hip), you may experience some "redness" and heat..

The Diagnosis

Tendons and bursa are not visible on X-rays, so they have limited use in reaching a diagnosis. Generally, doctors will inject a needle in the affected area and withdraw some synovial fluid to get a clear diagnosis. If the fluid is discolored, it is bursitis.

If the diagnosis is unclear, the area can be numbed with an anesthetic. If this relieves the pain temporarily, it is usually bursitis.

Reducing Symptoms for Tendonitis & Bursitis

In very severe cases, excess fluid will build up and it can be drained from the affected area. If you are experiencing "heat" coming from the area, apply cold packs in ten-minute intervals on and off. If there is no heat present, you can use hot packs.

A good quality liquid glucosamine product can often significantly reduce the symptoms of Tendonitis or Bursitis, such as pain and stiffness. It is important to understand that most episodes of Tendonitis or Bursitis are caused by trauma or repetitive activities. The best plan includes rest the area and avoiding the repetitive activities that triggered the onset.

Treatment Steps


  1. Apply hot or cold packs to area
  2. Rest the affected area and avoid repetitive activities that engage the painful joints

Is it permanent?

In most cases, attacks are temporary. However, they can become chronic if you fail to follow the steps outlined here. If it reaches that point, it is very resistant to treatment.

Have Questions? Email me

I hope these tips have helped. Do not give up on the fight against your arthritis. I know pain can be extremely difficult, exhausting, and depressing. Please email me if you have any questions. I can be reached at jr@arthritis-glucosamine.net. I will do my best to answer all questions within two weekdays.

J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®