Healthy Living

Alternative Treatments For Bursitis

Alternative Treatment For Bursitis

Alternative Treatment for Bursitis

Bursitis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in bursa tissue, which is tissue found around the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. Since bursitis is a condition that affects a person any time of the day, it is important to know some of its alternative treatment measures.

Most of these treatment methods involve self-care measures.


Bursitis happens around the bursae, which are mostly found around the joints. The most common cause of the pain around these parts is the excessive movement of the area. It can also be due to awkward motions around that part of the body.
Since the bursae are meant to serve as protective lining for the joints, once there is excess motion in a joint, the bursae there start aching and become inflamed. Thus, resting that particular part of the tissue is very important. Once a patient stops repetitive motion around the area such as kneeling and lifting something, the joint rests and the pain goes away.

Once you rest and the symptoms are appearing to fade away, you can continue with the motion gently to prevent another inflammation.

This condition can also be due to excess pressure on the area. You can stretch the muscles around the affected area gently when resting to strengthen them.


This treatment is advisable only if your bursitis is caused by excess motion in the joints. It is a therapy that is done to reduce the pressure and tension around the joint area. If your bursitis is brought about by some kind of infection, you should not use massage.

Use of Ice

The use of ice is the only treatment method that should be undertaken by people who are experiencing bursitis for the first time. You are supposed to use ice packs to relieve pain and also reduce warmth around the affected area.

You are required to apply the packs at 15-minute intervals for an hour a day. The pain will be gone within two to three days.

Use of DMSO

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an oily liquid that helps to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation when applied. DMSO passes through the skin tissue to the bursa. It is mostly found in liquid or gel packs. Once applied, it may cause some itching for a short period.

A person should use only 99.9% DMSO. To use DMSO, mix a capful of water with two capsful of the liquid and pour into a container. Then use a piece of cotton or your fingers to rub it into the skin.

Castor Oil

Widely used as a natural medicine for constipation, castor oil is popular all over the world and used for treating numerous health issues, including bursitis. One of the cheapest and the most effective methods of using castor oil is to apply it directly on the affected body part using a castor oil pack. These are the things needed to create the pack:

•    Big size towel

•    Half a cup of castor oil

•    Heating pad

•    2 to 3 square-shaped flannel pieces

•    Plastic garbage bag

Keep the heating pad on a flat surface and switch on to a high setting. Place the plastic garbage bag on the heating pad. Next, soak some pieces of flannel in the castor oil and place them on the pad and the bag. Now press the complete pack onto your skin, making sure that the flannel is touching the painful area directly. A big-sized bath towel can be wrapped around the body to keep the pack snugly against your skin and prevent the other areas from getting stained by the oil.

You should keep the castor oil pack on the site for a minimum of one hour, and the heating pad temperature must be kept at the highest bearable setting. After the pack is taken off, you can massage the leftover castor oil into your skin or wipe it off. The pieces of flannel are reusable if stored in a plastic bag and kept in the refrigerator. Add a few tablespoonsful of castor oil the next time you want to use it. Change the flannel pieces every month.


Practitioners of homeopathy have been imparting efficient and holistic treatments for patients suffering from bursitis for many years. Using their experience and knowledge, a homeopath will consider a patient’s general constitution, which may include psychological, emotional, and physiological factors. An expert assessment of all these elements will decide the most effective treatment for the patient.

•    Arnica gel - It is administered directly onto the skin and provides effective short-term pain relief.

•    Bryonia - This is usually applied when the joint is swollen and pain is severe.

•    Ruta gravel - It is used when the patient’s symptoms are increased due to being exposed to damp and cold weather.

•    Bellis perennis - This is commonly prescribed in case of an injury with significant bruising.

•    Rhus Toxicodendron - This is usually administered when the patient feels pain while asleep or upon waking up in the       morning. 


Herbs act as a remedy for the condition and also strengthen the bone muscles and tissues. Herbs reduce inflammation but may have a few side effects. Therefore, it is advisable for someone to evaluate his or her body condition before using herbs, in order to avoid harmful effects.

These are some of the herbs usually used:

  • White Willow (Salix aiban) - It is used to relieve pain (it is a type of aspirin). Precautions should be taken before using the herb. It would be best to consult your doctor first. 
  • Boswell (Boswellia serrate)
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)- The effects of turmeric becomes stronger when it is mixed with bromelain.

Use of citrus

Citrus contains vitamin C. Research has shown that lack of vitamin C leads to poor development of the bursa. The intake of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, helps in repairing the tissue, assisting in the healing of bursitis.

Bottom Line

Some of the treatment measures mentioned above are alternative measures that may not necessarily require a doctor’s attention. If the condition is not addressed properly, it might recur. Hence, it is necessary to understand your body and check with a doctor when necessary.