Bursitis & Tendonitis

Tendons connect muscles to bones and bursae act as cushions to reduce friction in your joints. When either of these soft tissues become inflamed, you may feel sharp, stabbing pain. If you think you’re suffering from pain caused by bursitis or tendonitis, get a head start on finding pain relief by starting your diagnosis below.


Whether it’s the knee, shoulder, or ankle, bursitis and tendonitis can be painful and bothersome conditions. Tendons are tough connective tissues found on either side of a joint. These tendons attach to muscles which control joint movement. Every joint also has a bursa. These fluid-filled sacs minimize the rubbing and resistance so your joints can move freely. It is because of this that these conditions can often go hand-in-hand.

What Causes Bursitis and Tendonitis?

Bursitis and tendonitis most often result from the overuse of a joint. Repeated motion usually causes inflammation of tendons and bursae. If you’ve started a new activity, such as playing a new sport, you may be putting stress on parts of your body that aren’t accustomed to it. The joints that commonly suffer overuse injury are:

When we age, our bodies tend to become less flexible and make us more susceptible to tendonitis and bursitis. Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis weaken body tissue, resulting in a higher risk of bursitis and tendonitis.

What Are the Symptoms of Bursitis and Tendonitis?

Pain from bursitis and tendonitis can come on suddenly or develop overtime. When a tendon or bursa is inflamed, pain can manifest in different ways: 

  • Sharp pain when moving or touching the joint.
  • Aching when the joint is at rest.
  • Swelling and redness in the injured area.
  • May feel warm to the touch.

If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of bursitis or tendonitis, you may need treatment. Find your condition below with our online condition tool. 


Treatment for bursitis and tendonitis can be similar in nature and is highly dependent on the cause. For an accurate treatment, your specialist will conduct a physical exam, often including a selective tissues test to determine which tendon is causing the pain. 

Non-Surgical Treatments for Bursitis and Tendonitis 

When the cause of your bursitis and tendonitis are from repetitive motions and overuse, a range of non-surgical treatments can be implemented, such as:

  • Rest. Avoid unnecessary movements of the joint.
  • Ice. Cooling the affected area helps reduce swelling.
  • Heat. Use a heating pad. Take a warm bath or sit in a hot tub.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines. Over-the-counter medicines like naproxen sodium (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) reduce swelling. Arthritis and sports creams such as Icy Hot and Aspercreme reduce inflammation as well. 
  • Physical therapy. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help heal the pain.
  • Injection. Your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection to help alleviate pain.

If there are signs of an infection, your doctor may choose to drain the fluid from the bursa. 

Surgical Treatments for Bursitis and Tendonitis 

Most cases of bursitis and tendonitis heal with conservative, non-surgical treatments. If you have exhausted all of the conservative treatments with no positive changes or results, the next step could be a surgery to repair damaged tissue or relieve pressure from the inflamed tissue. This is rare but possible. 

If you think you are experiencing bursitis or tendonitis pain, find the right treatment for you with our online treatment finder below. 


[Since my bulging disc correction] I haven't had pain in my leg at all and had only a little pain in my back from my surgery, but zero pain in my legs, the sciatica is gone.

Edward, age 55, bulging disc injury

Today my back and hip feel tremendous. My legs are still a bit weak, possibly from nerve damage that occurred prior to surgery. I’m going to physical therapy 3 times per week. I was back at work on November 15th, 3 weeks after surgery.

Robert, age 58,
history of disc herniation and previous surgeries

Nobody likes to be injured and neck surgery is a delicate procedure, but Dr. Massoud explained what needed to be done, which made me feel more comfortable. [Post-surgery] I felt great, and today the pain is completely gone.

Francisco, Age 48, Cervical Injury

Dr. Patel was so nice and explained everything to me. He likes to see the MRI images and see for himself what shows up on our report. He answered all my questions and I was able to get a late appointment (and by late i mean [past] 6pm).

L. Mercado, Little Ferry, NJ


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