Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that sit between bone, muscles, tendons, and skin to act as a cushion between moving parts of the body.1 Bursitis is a condition that affects these fluid-filled sacs, resulting in inflammation.2 Bursitis usually occurs due to overuse of a joint or following an injury.1 It’s most common in the elbow and knee, though it also occurs in the shoulder and hip.1, 2It can even appear in the heel or toe or in whichever joints see frequent, repetitive motion.2
Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive movement around a joint.4 This can result from playing sports or from sitting or leaning on hard surfaces for long periods of time.4 Changes in activity level, such as when training for a marathon, is also among bursitis causes.5 Individuals who are overweight are at higher risk of developing bursitis since the extra weight puts more pressure on the joints.5 Injury or trauma can also lead to bursitis, as can bacterial infections, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis.4, 6 Larger joints are more likely to be affected by bursitis.6 Bursitis can usually be prevented by avoiding activities that use repetitive motions or that put strong pressure on the joints.5
Bursitis symptoms involve tender, swollen joints.5 These joints may feel stiff or may have redness, warmth, or swelling around them.5 Consult your doctor if your pain becomes so severe that you can’t move your joints; if the pain lasts for more than two weeks; if you develop bruising or rash at the affected area; if you experience a sharp, shooting pain; or if you develop a fever.7 It’s difficult to tell the difference between bursitis pain and pain associated with arthritis or strains, so it’s best to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.3 Diagnosis is typically made through a variety of physical exams and X-rays.1 Your doctor might take a fluid sample to confirm whether or not the pain is caused by an infection.1 Bursitis is often treated through rest, pain medications, or cold therapy such as ice packs.1 Physical therapy and muscle-building exercises can also help with bursitis symptoms.5 The pain often goes away in just a few weeks, though flare-ups are common.2 In some cases where bursitis symptoms don’t go away within six to twelve months, surgery may be required, though this is rare.1, 5 Bursitis herbs can help treat symptoms of pain and inflammation.
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White willow is a traditional remedy for pain and inflammation relief. Take 500 mg of white willow extract up to twice daily to manage bursitis symptoms.
Castor oil can help to relieve inflammation and pain from bursitis. Warm up castor oil and massage onto affected joints. Cover with a cloth. Repeat throughout the day as needed.
Ginger can be used to help treat bursitis symptoms including pain and inflammation. Take two 500 mg capsules of ginger supplements 1-2 times daily for bursitis symptoms.
Lobelia can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Apply lobelia extract directly to affected joints. Repeat daily as needed until symptoms improve.
Mix with water.Apple cider vinegar is a safe and natural remedy to help relieve inflammation from bursitis. Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 1-3 times daily.