How To Treat Bursitis
Need suggestions on how to treat bursitis? The treatment is relatively simple, but the pain, however, is anything but. Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the fluid-filled sacs or bursae near the joints where tendons and muscles pass over bone. Common locations for bursitis are the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, heels and toes. Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, redness, stiffness and sometimes fever.
The best prevention is avoidance of repetitive joint movements. Bursitis pain usually leaves within a few weeks of treatment, although flare-ups can occur and the condition can become chronic if the underlying cause is not corrected. Bursitis can usually be managed safely at home. Here are some common ways to treat bursitis and alleviate the pain.
Things you'll need:
- Ice packs
- Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication
- Corticosteroid drugs
- Surgery (optional)
- Rest and Immobilization. Rest and immobilization is the first and often best treatment for bursitis. Rest and immobilize the affected joint to protect it from further trauma. Avoid any activity that causes pain.
- Ice Packs. Another way to treat bursitis is to apply an ice pack to the affected area. Ice packs can help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Use a cold gel pack or a bag with ice cubes. If the cold is too painful, wrap the ice pack in a towel.
- Compression. Compression can also be helpful to treat bursitis. Use elastic bandages or dressings to compress the affected area and relieve the pain. Splints, braces and slings may also be appropriate, depending on the affected joint.
- Elevation. Elevation is another good bursitis treatment. Elevate the affected joint area above the heart to stop blood from collecting in the bursae. This treatment helps to reduce inflammation in the bursae.
- Pain Medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are also common treatments. Available by prescription or over-the-counter, these painkillers help reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pain associated with bursitis.
- Antibiotic Medications. If your bursitis was caused by an infection, a doctor will prescribe antibiotic medications. If the infection does not respond to oral antibiotics, your doctor will admit you to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics.
- Corticosteroid Drugs. Sometimes a doctor will inject a corticosteroid drug into a bursa to reduce inflammation. Corticosteroid drugs, such as hydrocortisone, provide quick pain relief. Most people require no more than one injection.
- Physical Therapy. Exercise and physical therapy are sometimes recommended for bursitis to strengthen the muscles in the affected area. Muscle massage and water therapy are two popular physical therapy treatments.
- Aspiration or Surgery. In some cases, a doctor may treat bursitis by surgically draining a bursa. In fact, the problem may require repeated aspiration of the infected fluid. Surgical removal of a bursa is a rare treatment for bursitis, but it may be necessary if other treatments haven’t helped and the problem persists