How to Treat Bursitis

Many people have no idea how to treat bursitis effectively at home, and they wind up suffering from the pain and stiffness, falsely believing there is nothing they can do for relief. Bursitis is a repetitive stress disorder caused by the swelling of the bursa, tiny little fluid-filled sacs that aid movement between tendons and bones. Bursitis most often affects the larger joints of middle-aged people, including their hips, shoulders, elbows and knees. It can be chronic, so finding a way to treat bursitis is important.

Start With The Swelling
Because swelling leads to the pain and stiffness of bursitis, relief from the problem begins with bringing down that swelling. That means using over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or naproxen, and applying ice to the affected area. You should also rest the injured area and keep it immobilized as much as possible. Even if you are treating your bursitis at home, you should still check with a doctor to make sure you are correct and that you are following the appropriate treatment regimen.

Other Bursitis Treatments
If at-home remedies aren't helping, you may need physical therapy to relieve the bursitis. Often, the physical therapist will suggest specific exercises you can do to relieve the area affected by the bursitis. Your medical doctor may also inject a steroid into the area to help relieve the problem. Or, the doctor may remove the fluid from the bursa using a needle. Either one of these procedures can be done right in the doctor's office.

Chronic Bursitis
For many people, bursitis becomes chronic. In these cases, it is particularly important to know how to treat the pain and swelling at home. By using ice and over-the-counter pain relievers, along with exercises recommended by a physical therapist, you may be able to treat your bursitis effectively without needing to see the doctor every time you have pain. You may also be able to prevent further problems if you can avoid the repetitive stress that caused the swelling in the first place and give yourself time to recover after a bout with bursitis.

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