Manage bursitis naturally

What is bursitis? Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a small sac, filled with lubricating fluid, found between tissues such as bones, tendons, and skin. Its function is to minimise friction and assist movement of the tendon over the bone surface. The shoulder, elbow, hip and knee joints are most commonly affected by bursitis. The condition can restrict movement of the joint and cause significant pain. The bursa is located outside the joint and since both tendons and bursae are located near joints, the inflammation of these tissues can be mistaken for arthritis. However, arthritis presents as inflammation within the joints, whereas bursitis causes inflammation outside the joint.

Suffering from ongoing bursitis? Our experienced natural health team offers a range of natural therapies, including acupuncture and traditonal Chinese medicine, to help you combat the pain of bursitis.


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The causes of bursitis

Bursitis is most often caused by overuse or repetitive, minor impact on the area, over a period of time, or from a sudden, more serious injury. Age also plays a major role. As our tendons age, they are less tolerant of stress, are less elastic and, therefore, easier to tear. Bursitis is more common in adults, over the age of 40 years and presents itself as:

  • knee pain,
  • shoulder pain,
  • hip pain or
  • elbow pain.

Overuse or injury to a joint, either through work or recreational activities can also increase a person's risk of bursitis. Examples of high-risk activities can include gardening, raking, carpentry, shovelling, painting, scrubbing, tennis, golf, skiing and throwing; each of these activities may contribute to shoulder pain, knee pain, hip pain and elbow pain. Incorrect posture at work or poor stretching prior to exercise can also be a contributor.

Symptoms of bursitis

The most common symptoms of bursitis may include:

  • Localised pain, which may build up gradually or be sudden and severe,
  • Swelling,
  • A warm feeling in or around the affected area,
  • Increased pain at night,
  • Pain worsened by movement,
  • Stiffness,
  • Reddening of the skin.

Treatment for bursitis

Treatment will depend on the cause of the of your bursitis, however, the aim is to alleviate pain, whilst the healing process takes place. Bursitis can be treated in a number of ways, including:

  • Avoiding any activities that may aggravate the problem,
  • Resting the injured area,
  • Applying ice to the area,
  • Correct posture,
  • Wearing joint protection, such as a brace or splint to decrease the stress on the area and support good alignment.

Specific Therapists

Greg Bantick
Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Fertility & Pregnancy Care, Pain Management, Remedial Massage, Stress Management, Women's Health

Greg Bantick has been in practice since 1975 in a wide variety of clinical settings. He has particular interests in dermatology, digestive, mood and auto-immune disorders. He is registered as a Chinese herbalist, pharmacist and acupuncturist with AHPRA CMR0001733690.

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