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Treatment. Bursitis

By Editorial Team (Y)
August 28, 2021

Bursitis treatment

Bursitis is usually treated at home with conservative interventions such as resting the affected area, applying ice, and using over-the-counter pain relievers. However, if these treatments are not effective, some of the following treatments should be applied.

Medications for bursitis treatment: 

  • Oral medications: If an infection causes your bursitis, you may need an antibiotic.
  • Injections: Physicians sometimes inject corticosteroid medications into the affected bursa of the hip or shoulder to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Bursitis surgery

In rare cases, the bursa may require surgical removal. In addition, sometimes surgical drainage is needed to reduce inflammation of the bursa caused by bursitis, but this can usually be done by a physician in the office.

Other bursitis treatment methods

  • Physical therapy: In some cases, physicians recommend exercises or physical therapy to help reduce pain in the affected area or to increase muscle strength and prevent future episodes of bursitis. 
  • Assistive devices: Canes or walkers may be used to help relieve stress and pressure on the bursa. 

Bursitis home remedies

Certain measures may help you relieve pain caused by bursitis. The following bursitis home remedies may be beneficial.

  • Application of ice may reduce swelling in the first 48 hours following symptoms appearance.
  • Give a rest to the affected area, do not overuse it.
  • If you sleep on your side, place a small pillow between your legs to cushion your knees.
  • Apply moist or dry heat to the affected region. For example, you can take a warm bath or use a heating pad.
  • Over-the-counter analgesics, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, may help you relieve the pain and reduce inflammation caused by bursitis.

Prevention of bursitis development

It is not possible to prevent all types of bursitis. But you can decrease your chances and control the severity of episodes by making some simple changes in the way you go about certain activities. For example, protect your bursae by:

  • Using a kneeling pad: Put a folded towel or an old rug, something soft and cushioned, under your knees to relieve the pressure if your hobby or work requires you to do a lot of kneeling.  
  • Lifting properly: Always bend at the knees when you lift, and lift with your thighs. If you do not bend your knees, you stress the bursae in your hips. 
  • Wheeling heavy loads: When you carry excess weight, your shoulder bursae suffer. Wheel loads on a dolly or cart instead. 
  • Taking breaks: Rest often between repetitive tasks to give your bursae a break.  
  • Walking: Sitting in the same position, especially on a hard surface, stresses the bursae in your buttocks and hips. Get up and walk around frequently to relieve the pressure. 
  • Maintaining your weight: Reach and keep a healthy weight. Excess body weight stresses your joints.  
  • Exercising: You can strengthen the muscles that move your joints and improve flexibility through exercise.  
  • Stretching and warming up: Doing this before strenuous exercise helps prevent joint injuries.

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