Definition: synovial fluid   

A clear fluid secreted by membranes in joint cavities, tendon sheaths, and bursae, and functioning as a lubricant. When a joint disorder is present, the synovial fluid that is removed and examined can contain indicators of disease, such as white blood cells or crystals.      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/synovial-fluid


The human body contains @ 160 bursa sacs in an adult. We are born with some and others develop around joints and muscles to reduce friction. Muscles and tendons move over our bones, bursa sacs form in between these surfaces and help the muscles and tendons glide across the bony surface. They also form in pressure points, like the knee cap. A normal bursa sac is thin and filled with a few drops of Synovial fluid.  This fluid acts as a lubricant within the sac. The bursa sac would feel like a quarter sized Zip Lock bag, containing only oil, no air. The bursa sac acts like a lubricating bag and shock absorber. Usually bursitis develops from an overuse injury like tennis elbow but it can develop in the knee or heel of the foot from constant pressure. In both cases the sac fills with additional synovial fluid trying to protect the body from further injury. This usually is noticed by pain.

Symptoms include Pain when the affected joint is touched or pressure is applied. The area is may feel warm to the touch also.  This is often first noticed after a period of rest. Like washing the floor on your knees one day and waking up with sore knees that are swollen the next. Typically rotation or movement is hindered and is often described as a dull aching pain that increases with added pressure.


Bursitis can develop from a traumatic injury but most cases develop from an overuse injury due to constant repetitive movement or prolonged pressure!

Common Areas Include But Not Limited To:

The Foot – the heel, the forefoot pad.

The Shoulders





Since Bursitis is caused by overuse. First thing to do is stop the activity that is causing the injury. The body will heal itself (unless it is infected for some reason) if given adequate time to heal. Otherwise you could end up like Sandy Koufax- Famous Baseball Pitcher- who used to get Cortisone shots in his elbow almost every time he pitched. This is not good, eventually the cortisone attacks the joints.

Use Knee braces, ankle braces, shoulder braces, etc. to limit movement.

Cushion the area if applicable. If you have heel pain buy a pair of heel cushions or knee pads for knees.

If Swelling Won’t Go Down:

The doctor may choose to drain the excess fluid from the sac with a needle

The doctor may inject Cortisone.

Surgery in extreme cases.

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