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Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, sac-like cavities filled with lubricating (synovial) fluid, at areas where friction is likely to occur, such as where muscles or tendons pass over bony places. The inflammation may be acute or chronic.

Symptoms of bursitis include localized pain and tenderness. Sometimes swelling and redness may occur, usually in association with a loss of normal range of motion of the affected joint.

Trauma, misalignment of specific joint or joints above and below the affected area, chronic overuse, acute or chronic infection, calcium deposits secondary to calcium malabsorption, magnesium deficiency, localized trauma, allergies (especially airborne or food), vitamin B12 malabsorption, inflammatory arthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, infective organisms (especially Staphylococcus aureus), and, in rare cases, tuberculosis organisms can all contribute to bursitis.

What To Consider

The most commonly affected joints are the shoulders, elbows, and hips, which are often referred to as "frozen" due to the loss of normal range of motion.

Improvement of bursitis once treatment begins usually begins within two weeks and should not take longer than two months. Splinting and rest are helpful for acute symptoms but much less so for chronic bursitis.

One often undetected cause of bursitis is geopathic stress (unhealthy environmental energy), which should be considered.

Self-Care Tips

Identify and avoid all food allergies, which can exacerbate bursitis symptoms. Eat foods high in magnesium, such as dark, leafy green and yellow vegetables. Drink filtered water, apple cider vinegar, and honey upon arising, before bed, and throughout the day. Avoid foods from the nightshade family, especially tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. Also take one tablespoon of cod liver oil one to two hours before each meal.

Nutritional Supplementation
Vitamin B12 (administered intra-muscularly by injection), vitamin C and bioflavonoids, calcium, and magnesium can all help quicken healing time. Proteolytic enzymes taken between meals can also help provide relief from bursitis pain.

The essential oils juniper, chamomile, and cypress can also provide relief when applied over the affected area.

Flower Essences
Rescue Remedy Cream can be applied over the areas of pain a minimum four times a day.

Combine the tinctures of meadow-sweet, horsetail, and willow bark in equal parts and take one teaspoonful three times a day. Also gently rub a mixture of equal parts tincture of lobelia and cramp bark into the affected area. Drink strong chamomile tea, particularly at bedtime, to help relieve pain. Aloe vera gel can also be helpful.

Belladonna, Arnica, Ruta grav., and Silicea are the most useful homeopathic remedies for bursitis.

Contrast application (hot and cold water) one to three times daily can help relieve pain. For acute symptoms, use an ice pack applied 20 minutes out of each hour for the first 24-36 hours. Any hot water treatment or bath should be followed by the affected area being chilled by a cold compress or cold spray or shower. Epsom salt baths are also helpful. Use a pound or more of Epsom salts per bath, and soak for 25-30 minutes. After the bath, rinse and rub down the affected area with hot olive oil. Do this once a week. Also, try rosemary soaks for hands and feet or a bath for the whole body. Soak for 10-15 minutes, two to three times a day.

Another helpful option is the use of ice packs. Place one above and one below the joint for 20 minutes three times a day for one month (six ice cubes to a quart of cold water, or mix two-thirds water and one-third alcohol and freeze until slushy).

Juice Therapy
Drink equal parts carrot, celery, cucumber, and beet juice to help speed healing.

At the onset of bursitis, rest the affected area for a few days to ensure that symptoms don't worsen or take longer than necessary to heal.

Topical Treatment
Place mullein hot packs over the affected area. To make mullein packs, boil three to four fresh mullein leaves in water for three minutes, then place over the affected joint. Wrap with a hot moist towel, then a dry towel and leave in place for 20 minutes. Do this three times a day.


If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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