What is Bursitis?

8 August 2017  |  Eugene

When our wrists are in pain, it's hard not to take notice. The pain can affect all areas of our lives, and can make some of our favourite activities irritating, painful or even unbearable. At WristSupports.co.uk, we're committed to the health of our customers' wrists, and we're here to help. We've put together a short, informative guide on one of the most common (and painful) wrist conditions: Bursitis. We'll help you understand what Bursitis is, along with its causes, symptoms, and, finally, what we can do to help.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is defined as the inflammation and swelling of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that forms under the skin, usually over the joints, and works to cushion any impact between your tendons and bones. In the wrist, there are two bursae: the ulnar bursa on the little-finger (no relation to Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones) side of your hand, and the radial bursa, on the thumb side of your hand. The ulnar bursa covers the tendons of your index, middle and ring fingers, while the radial bursa protects the thumb tendon and extends to the wrist crease.

Healthy joint compared to one with bursitis

This image of a Bursitis-stricken knee shows how the condition can affect a joint

Symptoms of Bursitis

When diagnosing whether or not your have Bursitis, consulting a doctor is always recommended. In the mean time, we'll lay out some key factors that may provide you with a few clues. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • A lump or swelling on the top or side of the wrist
  • Pain and tenderness when bending the wrist backwards
  • Pain in the wrist when lifting objects
  • Wrist pain even when resting and at night
  • Abnormalities such as bone deformities or atrophied muscles
  • A redness or warmth of the skin around the wrist

As these symptoms can also occur with a common wrist fracture, an x-ray may be recommended to rule our a break, bone spur, or other foreign body as the cause of your pain.

What Causes Bursitis of the Wrist?

Your wrist is commonly in motion throughout your everyday life. When certain motions become too repetitive or strenuous though, you may be putting yourself at risk of developing Bursitis. When the pressure and friction is too great, excess fluid builds up, leading to the development of a bulbous, unsightly sac. Any repetitive motion at work or during your hobbies can lead to Bursitis, such as:

  • Mouse movements
  • Typing
  • Writing by hand
  • Gardening
  • Sewing
  • Video games

Bursitis is also more likely in those who play sports that frequently involve the wrist. Some of the most common sports that lead to Bursitis are:

  • Racket sports
  • Weightlifting
  • Cycling
  • Baseball
  • Cricket
  • Golf

It's also worth noting that pre-existing inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or gout, can greatly increase your risk of developing Bursitis.

hand with pain in wrist from bursitis

A hand with ulnar-sided pain resulting from Bursitis

How Can I Treat My Bursitis?

Now that we've educated ourselves on what Bursitis is, and how it occurs, it's time to focus on how we can help. Luckily, Bursitis is a very treatable condition, and rarely requires any sort of surgery. The most important factor in your recovery, as with many other inflammation-related conditions, is rest. It's best to lay off the activities that cause you the most pain for a while, and take anti-inflammatory drugs at regular intervals. Cold compression bandages may also help in the meantime, but rest remains key above all else.

At WristSupports.co.uk, helping you to rest your injured wrists is one of the things we do best. We have a range of supports and braces that will prevent your wrist from undertaking harmful movements while you heal, and others that will provide compression to reduce your inflammation at the same time. To view our entire range of Wrist Supports for Bursitis, click the yellow button below!


Do you have a question to ask or something to add? Why not leave us a comment below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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