Home Remedies for Bursitis

Home Remedies for Bursitis

What is Bursitis?

Bursae, which are the plural term for Bursa, are small pouchs or sacs which contain the synovial fluid and locate between tissues, muscles and tendons as well as joints. This fluid is in charge of lubricating and lower friction which is created from joint movement. They are also act as pads which can share the pressure that the joints might take. There are more than 160 bursae which are often found beside synovial cells whose function is producing synovial fluid [1].

Bursitis is the term used to called the state of tear and wear happened to joints all together or simultaneously. This is caused by the inflammation in the bursa which incurs the irritating sensation. Thus the sufferers will experience the stinging and severe kind of pain from this problem [2][3].

Bursitis can happen to any joints in your body but the ones which often generate much movement repetitively are more vulnerable.

Those are:


  • Hip
  • Thigh
  • Knee
  • Ankle
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow

What causes Bursitis?

There are several popular causes of bursitis such as:

  • Increase in age: Due to your tendons become more vulnerable with age, they will get less and less elastic which will be weaker against pressure.
  • Sudden injury: Accidents might injure the bursa which makes the tissue more vulnerable to infections. Usually, they are minor but repetitive accidents which slowly damage the joints and both the muscles and tendons around them.
  • Repetitive impact for joints: It is consider the most common reason for why you might get bursitis. Such movements which are repeated day by day as lifting weights to over the head or cleansing the floor whilst kneeling will damage the bursae.
  • Joint overuse: When you use a specific joint constantly in such activities as gardening, painting or carpentry… the soft tissues in your joint might be damaged and this can lead to irritation and inflammation.
  • Poor stretching and incorrect posture: This is why proper warm-up before exercising is important as poor stretching will cause bursitis. The same goes to incorrect posture such as long sitting position on hard surface.
  • Joint placed poorly: People with arthritis are more prone to get bursitis.
  • Secondary condition: Such conditions as psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and thyroid disorders as well as gout or some medications might make you more vulnerable to bursitis.
  • Infection: People with weak immunity such as alcoholic and steroid therapy patients will get bursitis easier through infections on injuries near the bursae. This type of bursitis is called septic bursitis which is accompanied by fever with inflammation and redness on the infected areas.

Symptoms of Bursitis

There are few distinguished symptoms such as:

  • Pain: The level of pain will be depended on the conditions. In case the calcium crystals accumulate, the pain will be severe and sudden. Pain from bursitis will elevate along the joints movements and it can be excruciating at some point.
  • Swelling: Redness and swelling can become excessive.
  • Tenderness: This can be detected without joints movement.
  • Loss of movement: The swelling and tenderness will obstruct the joints movement and it can get severe. Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder might happen in case of immobility that can cause bursitis.

Here are the top 15 most effective home remedies for bursitis which are easy for you to apply at home in order to protect your joints and prevent them from getting bursitis as well as improve the treatment in case you get bursitis…

1. Cold Compress

Ice - Licorice - Home Remedies for Bursitis

Being placed in the first rank of home remedies for bursitis, the coldness will help you alleviate the swelling as well as pain by numbing the areas affected. Also it can be effective at decreasing inflammation and tenderness [4].

How to use:

  • Use a thin towel to wrap few ice cubes.
  • Apply the ice pack onto the joint.
  • After 15 minutes, discard the ice pack and keep the joint above the heart.
  • Rest and perform again for couples of time until the symptoms are relieved.

Note: Avoid applying ice directly onto the skin which can inflict frostbite. You can find out more about the applications of cold compress at: Home Remedies for Sprained Ankle and Dark Circles.

2. Warm Compress

Warm Compress - Home Remedies for Bursitis

The second rank on the list of home remedies for bursitis goes to warm compress, which is effective against acute or chronic bursitis as it will promote the flow of blood at joints, decrease stiffness and control inflammation [5].

How to use:

  • Soak a towel into warm water.
  • Directly apply the towel onto the affected joint.
  • After about 20 minutes, remove and perform again for couples of time per day.
  • Another option is using the heating pad or even bottle of hot water. Also you might soak your affected joint into warm water.

For more information about the benefits and applications of warm compress, please read: Home Remedies for Armpit Lumps and Ear Discharge.

3. Massage

This home remedy for bursitis can significantly promote the circulation of blood, which can help you control stiffness and swelling, thus discomforts can be alleviated.

Leg Massage - Home Remedies for Bursitis

How to use:

  • Warm up some oils such as mustard, sesame, coconut or olive.
  • Apply the oil onto the affected joint and massage for about 10 minutes.
  • After that, apply a warm towel onto the affected joint.
  • Perform for couples of time per day until the symptoms are improved.

Note: Avoid using massage in case your bursitis is caused by infections. You can find out more about what problems massage can treat as a home remedy at: Home Remedies for Scar Removal and Puffy Eyes.

4. Castor Oil

Castor Oil - Home Remedies for Bursitis

The anti-inflammatory properties found in ricinoleic acid can effectively alleviate pain as well as swelling and inflammation. Moreover, it can promote the mobility and flexibility of joints. This is the reason why you should not skip this ingredient on the list of home remedies for bursitis [6].

How to use:

  • Use castor oil which is cold-pressed and soak with a wool flannel cloth.
  • Apply onto the affected joint and use plastic wrap to cover it.
  • After that, put on a heating pad or bottle of hot water then use a towel to cover.
  • After about 40 minutes, remove all the equipment and massage the joint for a while and then cleanse with warm water.
  • Perform for 3 to 4 times per week.

5. Ginger

The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties from ginger make it a perfect bursitis treatment that can alleviate pain effectively and encourage circulation of blood which will promote a quick healing and decrease discomforts [7][8].

Ginger - Home Remedies for Bursitis

How to use:

  • Grate some fresh ginger and wrap in cheesecloth. Put it into hot boiling water for about 30 minutes. After it cools down, apply onto the joint for about 10 minutes. Perform for 2 or 3 times per day.
  • Use ginger oil for massaging the affected joint for couples of time per day.
  • Another option is take a tablespoon of ginger sliced into hot boiling water. After simmering for 10 minutes, have it strained and put in some honey. Consume for 2 to 3 times per day.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

The alkalinity in your body can be controlled with this vinegar, another treatment of bursitis. Various minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium can help you maintain the balance of body fluid as well as decrease inflammation [9].

How to use:

  • Use a towel to soak in vinegar and apply it directly onto the affected joint for couples of hour per day.
  • Make a mixture of a tablespoon of vinegar with some honey and water. Consume twice per day for couples of day.

7. Turmeric

The anti-inflammatory property found in curcumin from turmeric is excellent at alleviating inflammation, swelling as well as pain. It is very effective especially against chronic and acute bursitis [10][11].

How to use:

  • Boil some milk and add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Put in some honey and consume twice per day for couples of day.
  • Take curcumin supplementary pills after consulting the doctor.

Note: Remember to control the amount of curcumin intake as it might thin your blood.

8. White Willow Bark

The salicin in white willow bark is excellent at relieving pain as well as swelling and inflammation, making it one of powerful home remedies for bursitis [12][13].

How to use:

  • Take half a teaspoon of dried white willow bark into a cup of hot boiling water. After about 15 minutes, have it strained and consume twice per day.
  • Take white willow bark supplementary pills after consulting the doctor.

Note: Avoid apply for children or people under medication which might thin blood.

9. Milk of Magnesia

Besides being rich in magnesium, the anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties in milk of magnesia make the ingredient a great treatment of bursitis that can help you fight pain and inflammation effectively.

How to use:

  • Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of milk of magnesia and consume twice per day for 1 week.
  • Consume more magnesium-rich foods such as green with dark leaves, bean, banana, oat or lentil.
  • Take magnesium supplementary pills after consulting the doctor.

10. DMSO

The dimethyl sulfoxide or DMSO which is found in wood pulp and often available in gel or liquid form, possess analgesic property that can help you relieve pain as well as inflammation rapidly. Thus it can promote a quick healing [14].

How to use:

  • Use a cotton ball to apply the 70% DMSO solution onto the affected joint.
  • Massage for a while in order to encourage the absorption.
  • Perform for 2 to 3 times per day for couples of day.

DMSO characteristic is warm and it also contains some side effects. In case the symptoms are not improved, you should stop apply this remedy.

11. Boswellia Serrata

Containing the anti-inflammatory property, it can significantly relieve your pain as well as inflammation and swelling. You can intake the extraction of this herb regularly in order to make treatments of bursitis as well as promote a good joint health [15].

12. Licorice

Licorice - Home Remedies for Bursitis

It is also an effective astringent for bursitis as it can efficiently decrease the symptoms of bursitis. You can use licorice tea for couples of time per day; however, it is necessary to consult the doctor on the dosage of licorice [16].

13. Cayenne Pepper

This remedy is recommended due to its effectiveness against bursitis symptoms. You can boil the mixture of a tablespoon of cayenne pepper with a glass of vinegar for about 15 minutes. Before applying the mixture, put on a layer of olive oil and a piece of cotton cloth to apply [17].

14. Horseradish

It is another effective herb for the treatment of bursitis. You can make a paste from horseradish root and water. Then use a small porous pouch to wrap the paste and apply onto the affected joint [18].

15. Meadowsweet

It is considered the most effective herb for treating bursitis. The remedy formula is consuming a mixture made from horsetail, willow and meadowsweet [19].

Extra Tips:

  • Let the affected joint rest for couples of day to promote a quick healing.
  • Apply acupuncture to decrease inflammation and swelling.
  • Consume more anti-inflammatory-rich foods.
  • Sleep with cushion under the affected joint for support of pressure.
  • Keep out of pressuring more on the affected joint as well as remaining in 1 position for too long. Frequently take break and move around.
  • Put more efforts into maintaining normal healthy weight to avoid excessive pressure on joints as well as exercise in order to improve strength and health of joints.
  • Remember to warm-up properly before intensive exercises to keep your joint from being injured.
  • Consume more vitamin-C-rich foods as it is an excellent nutrient for joint.
*Disclaim: The effectiveness from applying these natural tips will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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