Healthy Living

Treatment of Bursitis

Treatment of bursitis

Treatment of Bursitis

Treatment for Bursitis

Bursitis is the swelling of bone and muscle tissue. It mostly occurs in the ankles, knees, hips, elbows and shoulders. The bursa is a small balloon filled with a liquid that softens the friction between the bone and skin, muscles or tendons. They are found in every part of the human body. When the bursae get swollen, they can become very painful, limiting the mobility of the patient.

Bursitis has for a long time been a condition that disturbs very many people due to the pain it induces. The condition has also left people without any treatment measures for the infection. This is because the condition affects many parts of the body.

The onset of the condition is most often unpredictable and makes it difficult to some people such as athletes and players to carry out their normal jobs. How would you feel as an athlete if such pain attacks your knee when you are about to enter the track?

The most common reason for getting bursitis is trauma to a particular joint or repetitive overuse of a joint. Kneeling for extended periods or leaning on elbows for long duration can cause bursitis in the knees and elbows. Professions such as musicians, athletes, and gardeners indulge in work that has repetitive actions. This causes the joints to be stressed more than usual, thus causing bursitis. Sometimes, diseases such as thyroid disease, diabetes, gout or arthritis can also cause the bursa to become inflamed and painful.

The primary focus of treatment of bursitis is to manage the pain and swelling. This can be done with adequate rest and medication, including aspirin or ibuprofen. The injuries can also be treated with an ice pack every 4 hours over a period of 4 to 5 days. The doctor might also advise an extended period of therapy with ice and include a stretching regimen. The therapist is also likely to advise the patient to restrict movement of the joint to support quicker healing and stop aggravating the injury further.

Some of treatment measures include:


The first attention towards healing of the condition is relieving the pain in the area attacked. This will help you to continue with what you were doing before you seek further medical attention. This is done by looking for pain killers that will relieve your pain. Such painkillers may include; ibuprofen, aspirin or paracetamol.


Sometimes the swelling of the bursa can be severe and cause a lot of pain. In this case you may decide to drain the fluid which also reduces the pain. Aspiration is a process used to remove fluid from the joints.
In aspiration, the infected area is covered with a cloth and a needle is used to drain the fluid. The process is always painful. However, after draining the pain will disappear within a few days.


In cases where your doctor finds out that you have septic bursitis then they will prescribe antibiotics. The anti biotics will be taken in tablets or capsules form for seven days going for two or four intervals a day. The doctor will also keep a track on your response to the antibiotics.
It is advisable to take a full dose even when pain stops within a short period. In cases where the pain or other signs persist you will be required to undergo the treatment for up to seven more days. Examples of such antibiotics may include:

  • Clarithromycin
  • Flucloxacillin
  • erythromycin


Bursitis can in some cases be very disturbing especially if a person has lived with the condition for a long time. The inflammation of the bursa can become severe in cases where the area is subjected to pressure even after the onset of the condition.
You may be required to undergo surgery. This where the doctor removes the inflammation or the bursa completely. This is done to allow incision of the skin hence the fluid is drained. After the surgery is performed on the patellar tendon, the doctor will put on a solid cast for the patient which could also include a brace to immobilize the knee for anywhere up to 6 weeks. The patient will also need to use crutches for normal everyday mobility. In the case of a partial tear, the patient might also have to wear a cast but without requiring any surgery.


These are corticosteroids injections that are mostly administered when the signs and symptoms of bursitis have become severe. The corticosteroid is injected direct into the affected area. The injection always contains a type of hormone called steroids. This helps to reduce inflammation and also the redness on the skin.
It is also important to note that the injection cannot be administered to people under septic bursitis. You cannot also receive more than three injections in the same area in a year. Irrespective that the injections relieve pain, they suppress the immune system which may become an obstacle, especially for elderly patients. Even though these types of injections are commonly prescribed, the doctor and patient must exercise appropriate caution because they can just as easily tear or weaken the different types of tendons found in the ankle, foot or knee. These are all weight bearing tendons, and thus the treatment must be approached with extreme care.

Removal of Calcium

Calcific bursitisis when the calcium deposits are to be found inside the bursae. This is usually located in and around the shoulder region, and the subacromial bursa is the most common type of calcific bursitis. When someone suffers bursitis for a long period of time, there is accumulation of calcium deposits in the body. To reduce this, a person can work towards increasing acidic conditions in the body. This is done by eating acidic forming foods. These foods include;

The Bottom Line

Doctors have also proved that when bursitis is treated early enough it takes a short time for the body to go back to its normal condition. Treatment of bursitis should be taken seriously to avoid future problems.