Tendons and bursae are located near joints. Inflamed soft tissues will often be felt by patients as joint pain. This will be mistaken for arthritis. Symptoms of bursitis and tendonitis are similar. They include pain and stiffness that gets worse when moving. Pain may be felt more at night. Almost any tendon or bursa in the body can be affected. Those located around a joint are affected most often. Tendonitis and bursitis are usually temporary. However, these conditions may come back often or become ongoing. They do not cause deformity, but they can limit motion.
The most common cause of tendonitis and bursitis is injury or overuse during work or play. This is particularly true if the patient is unfit, has bad posture or uses the affected limb in an awkward way. Sometimes an infection in the bursa or tendon will cause the area to be inflamed. Tendonitis or bursitis may be linked to other conditions. These include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disease and diabetes.