Bursitis and Tendinitis: Differences and Diagnosis

Bursitis and tendinitis both involve soft tissue inflammation around bone and muscle. These conditions usually occur around major body joints, like the knees or shoulders. While they have similarities, they represent two distinct medical conditions.

Review the unique aspects of bursitis and tendinitis with our team at Tawil Physical Therapy & Sports Performance in Bergen, NJ.

Differences Between Bursitis and Tendinitis

Inflammation Site

Individuals diagnosed with bursitis experience inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac that cushions the space around some bones). Bursae appear in the body around large joints, like the hips and elbows.

Tendinitis inflammation, on the other hand, occurs in tendons. Your tendons connect your muscle tissue to bone, and you can find tendons throughout your body.


Bursitis has several common causes. In some cases, this form of inflammation comes from:

  • An infection
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout

Individuals generally develop tendinitis as a result of an injury. The condition may also occur as a result of a repetitive motion or acute injury. Tendon infections develop sometimes, but the medical community calls these infections “tenosynovitis,” not tendinitis.

Diagnosis of Bursitis and Tendinitis

In many cases, medical professionals diagnose patients with bursitis and tendinitis at the same time. These conditions often occur together, with tendons and bursa both becoming inflamed due to an injury.

Similarly, both conditions respond to the same treatments. Medical professionals may advise patients to rest the area, use ice packs, take anti-inflammatory drugs, and undergo physical therapy to help address the effects of bursitis and tendinitis.

Schedule an Appointment for Bursitis and Tendinitis Treatment

Some forms of physical therapy mitigate the symptoms associated with bursitis and tendinitis. You can set up an appointment for therapy with Tawil Physical Therapy & Sports Performance by calling us at (201) 877-5166.

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