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Difference between Arthritis and Bursitis

Difference between Arthritis and Bursitis

Arthritis and Bursitis are both conditions that affect the joints, but they are caused by different things and have different symptoms. Arthritis is a condition that is caused by inflammation in the joint, while Bursitis is a condition that is caused by inflammation in the bursa. The bursa is a small sac of fluid that helps to cushion the joint. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint, while symptoms of Bursitis include pain, swelling, and redness around the joint. Treatment for arthritis includes medication and exercises to help reduce inflammation, while treatment for Bursitis includes icing the area and taking anti-inflammatory medications.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is one of the most common joint conditions and affects people from all walks of life. Arthritis is a term used to describe a broad range of joint diseases caused by inflammation and swelling of the joints, which can result in pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion.

  • Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including those in the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders as well as hips, knees ankles, and feet. Although there is no known cure for arthritis, there are lifestyle changes that can help manage symptoms and slow down its progression.
  • These include maintaining a healthy body weight or focusing on physical activities that put a low impact on joints while still providing strength-building benefits.
  • Arthritis may be an ongoing struggle but with support from family and healthcare professionals, people with arthritis have access to strategies to live their best life.

What is Bursitis?

  • Bursitis is a condition that affects the bursae, small cushions of fluid around joints that reduce friction when we move. Bursitis can be caused by injury or an overuse injury from repeated movement.
  • Bursitis may cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected joint. Treatment for bursitis typically includes rest, increased activity modification, and physical therapy to promote healing.
  • In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed in order to reduce discomfort while recovering. Bursitis can often recur if care is not taken to ensure optimal recovery, so it is important to take proper steps regarding any activity that might put further strain on the joint.

Difference between Arthritis and Bursitis

Arthritis and Bursitis are both painful, musculoskeletal conditions that can affect an individual’s quality of life.

  • Arthritis is an inflammation of joints and can cause joint stiffness and swelling.
  • It can be caused by a variety of things ranging from physical degeneration to autoimmune diseases.
  • Bursitis, on the other hand, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs surrounding joints called bursae.
  • This type of pain most commonly results in the shoulder or hip disability, but it can also occur in elbows, wrists, heels, or knees.

Arthritis and bursitis may have similarities but they are distinct conditions with different causes and treatments; therefore, seeking medical help for a proper diagnosis is essential to begin with the correct treatment plan.


Arthritis and bursitis are two conditions that can cause a lot of pain in the body. While they may seem similar, they are actually quite different. In this post, we’ve outlined the key differences between arthritis and bursitis so you can better understand which condition you may be suffering from. If you think you may have one of these conditions, please see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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