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Is it possible to cure bursitis at home?

Bursitis is an inflammatory process that occurs in the bursa (synovial bursa). A bursa is a cavity filled with synovial fluid. The purpose of the structure is to dampen shocks and other mechanical loads that arise as a result of contact between the bone and ligamentous elements of the joints.

What is bursitis disease?

The pathology occurs in acute or chronic form. The prevalence is about 8% of the population. In the acute form, severe pain is observed, especially when the bursa is compressed or stretched. In the chronic form, the disease often recurs. The duration of the attack can reach several weeks. If the mobility of a limb with an affected joint is limited for a long time, atrophic changes in the muscles are possible.

Types and classification

The classification of the disease is carried out mainly taking into account the location of the source of inflammation. The most commonly affected bursae are the shoulder, hip, elbow joints. Bunions of the foot and knee are also common. Main types:

  • Subacromial. The localization of the pathological focus is the subacromial bursa of the shoulder joint.
  • Calcific. Inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder cuff with the formation and deposition of calcium salts. The inflammatory process affects the synovial bursa of the shoulder joint.
  • Infrapatellar. It is characterized by stretching and inflammation of the tendon adjacent to the knee with the spread of the pathological process to the bursa.
  • Suprapatellar. The pathological focus is located in the patellar bursa.
  • Anserine. It is characterized by inflammation of the anserine bursa, which is located in the knee joint.
  • Trochanteric. Localization of the inflammatory process in the trochanteric bursa, which is located near the trochanter of the femur.

There are serous and purulent bursitis. In the first case, accelerated production and an increase in the volume of synovial fluid occur. The wall of the bursa is thin, of uniform thickness. In the second, the concentration of leukocytes in the contents of the bursa increases, the walls of the bursa become uneven and thicken.

Bursitis: causes

The exact causes and mechanisms of development of the disease are not fully understood. The risk of developing pathology increases with a decrease in the body’s own immune defense and systemic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis). Provoking factors:

  • Increased load on joint structures due to professional activities and regular sports.
  • Traumatic damage to bone and joint structures. A fall from a bicycle or a height can cause damage to the hip joint with subsequent development of inflammation in the bursa.
  • Infectious and inflammatory diseases occurring in the periosteum, bones (periostitis) and subcutaneous fat (abscess).
  • Excess body weight, which leads to increased stress on joint structures.
  • Infectious diseases (syphilis, tuberculosis), which are characterized by complications affecting the joints.
  • Poor posture and, as a consequence, uneven distribution of weight load on the parts of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Taking pharmaceutical drugs, such as corticosteroids, for a long time.
  • Metabolic disorders, including gout and diabetes.
  • Physiological aging of the body.
  • Spinal diseases leading to degenerative changes in the vertebrae, for example, spondylitis.

The pathology is often detected in ballerinas (bursitis of the finger joints), tennis players (the source of inflammation is in the area of ​​the shoulder or elbow joints), and builders who lay parquet (the knee area is affected). Wearing tight shoes can provoke bursitis in the heel joints.

Symptoms of bursitis

Symptoms depend on the location of the pathological focus. Signs of bursitis:

  • Painful sensations in the area of ​​the affected joint. The pain intensifies with movement or exertion.
  • Swelling of soft tissues, hyperemia of the area of ​​inflammation.
  • Reduced range of motion, limited mobility of the limb.
  • An increase in body temperature locally at the site of inflammation.
  • Feeling of fullness.
  • General malaise, deterioration of health, weakness, lethargy.

In the acute course of the disease, a general increase in body temperature to 39-41°C, chills, and fever are possible. Often a protruding swelling forms on the inflamed joint.

Why is bursitis dangerous?

The consequences of bursitis include impaired mobility and function of the joint, which leads to difficulty in daily activities and interferes with the performance of professional duties. In severe cases, disability occurs – loss of ability to work. The inflammatory process occurring in the bag can cause a widespread (generalized) infection. As a result, the risk of developing sepsis, a life-threatening condition, increases.

Diagnosis of bursitis

The diagnosis is made based on the results of a physical examination and instrumental and laboratory examination. An informative research method is an x-ray of the affected joint. The doctor may order an ultrasound to examine deep-lying bursae. Additional methods are CT and MRI.

Treatments for bursitis

Treatment for bursitis involves limiting the mobility of the affected joint and eliminating stress on it. To fix the limb in a stable position, orthoses are used. An effective medicine for the treatment of pathology is NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Additionally, the doctor prescribes glucocorticoids in the form of injections for recurrent disease. Antibiotics are prescribed taking into account the type of pathogenic microorganisms that caused inflammation. For severe pain, additional analgesics are indicated. The main methods of physiotherapy are electrophoresis with hydrocortisone, laser and magnetic therapy, compresses.

An operation (arthroscopy) is performed when purulent exudate accumulates in the bursa. During surgery, purulent contents and calcified structures are removed from the inflamed bursa. Arthroscopy is performed through a small opening using endoscopic equipment.

How to treat bursitis at home

Treatment of bursitis at home is carried out using gels and ointments with an anti-inflammatory effect.

One of the methods of therapy is the use of Bolotov Balm and Bolotov Gel. The balm contains components that prevent the deposition of calcium salts in bone structures and strengthen the immune system. As a result, the manifestations of systemic pathologies are reduced. The ingredients in the composition stimulate metabolism and help normalize weight, which leads to improved well-being for the patient. To cure bursitis at home, Bolotov Gel is used topically.

How to treat bursitis with folk remedies

Folk remedies for bursitis are used as part of a comprehensive therapy program. Popular recipes:

  • Alcohol and salt compresses. To prepare a composition for a salt compress, add 15 grams of salt to 50 ml of water.
  • Tincture of lilac flowers (a handful of flowers is poured into a bottle of vodka, infused for 2 weeks in a dark place). The product is used to apply compresses to the affected area.
  • A mixture of golden mustache and aloe juices, taken in equal proportions, is used to rub the damaged joint.
  • Pine baths are made by pouring 30 grams of dry needles with 1 liter of boiling water. The affected joint is placed in an infusion at a temperature of 40°C.
  • Cabbage leaves, previously beaten with a rolling pin for softness, are applied to the affected joint and secured with an elastic bandage. The compress can be kept for a day.
  • A mixture of butter and propolis. Mix 200 grams of oil and 30 grams of propolis, take a teaspoon orally three times a day.

To get rid of bursitis, make a compress from grated laundry soap and onions. To do this, grate a quarter of a bar of soap, add a small amount of water, stir and place on low heat. Keep on fire until a homogeneous mass is formed. A large onion is grated and added to a cooled soap solution. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the mixture and stir thoroughly. Spread the mixture on gauze folded in several layers and apply it to the affected joint. Cover the top with plastic wrap, wrap it and leave it overnight.

A night compress can be prepared from half a glass of grated potatoes and 1 tablespoon of honey. Bursitis is treated by applying a napkin generously soaked in propolis tincture to the joint.

Prevention of bursitis

Preventive measures – timely treatment of foci of infection in the body (wounds, abrasions, dental caries). What to do to prevent the development of bursitis:

  • Avoid excessive physical activity.
  • Eliminate the risk of injury.
  • Correct body weight, avoiding exceeding the recommended norms.

Before sports training, it is necessary to perform warm-up exercises and protect joints from damage with special pads.

How to quickly cure bursitis at home

To effectively treat bursitis at home, use Bolotov’s Balm. Joint pathologies in most cases are caused by disturbances in the functioning of the immune system and metabolic disorders. As a result, calcium salts are formed and deposited in the joint and bone tissue, which deform the joint and aggravate the course of the pathology.

Autoimmune reactions of the body lead to the fact that the body’s own cells of the immune system attack joint tissue, which leads to irreversible changes in articular and cartilage structures. The components of Bolotov’s Balm affect the causes of damage to joint tissue, which leads to a significant improvement in the patient’s condition. Effects: reduction of inflammation, elimination of swelling and redness, tissue regeneration and restoration.


How to take Bolotov Balm correctly?

1 teaspoon of the product is diluted in 200 ml of water. Drink through a straw to avoid exposure to the acidic environment on tooth enamel. The drug is drunk after or during meals 2-4 times during the day.

Why is chronic bursitis dangerous?

In the chronic form, the slightest excess load on the joints leads to relapse of the disease and exacerbation of the inflammatory process.

What happens if bursitis is not treated?

Pathology can provoke damage to nearby tissues – periosteum and bone, which leads to the development of osteomyelitis. With a purulent form, the risk of developing sepsis increases.

Olecranon bursitis is a condition characterized by tissue damage and inflammation of the olecranon bursa (a small fluid-filled sac located at the back of the elbow), which can be a source of pain in the back of the elbow.

The elbow is formed by the union of the humerus and the ulna of the forearm. The ulna has a bony protrusion located at the back of the elbow known as the olecranon. This bony prominence is the attachment point for several muscles, including the triceps, and forms the outermost point of the back of the elbow. Between the olecranon and the overlying skin is the olecranon bursa. The bursa is a small sac filled with liquid – a lubricant and its function is to reduce friction between adjacent layers of soft tissue.

The triceps muscle is primarily responsible for straightening the elbow and is especially active during pushing activities. During contraction of the triceps, friction is directed towards the ulnar bursa. Pressure on the olecranon bursa can also occur due to a direct blow. When this pressure on the bursa is excessive due to too frequent movements or the application of force, conditions arise for inflammation of the olecranon bursa.


  • Moderate but repetitive trauma is the most common cause. For example, people who lean on their elbows cause friction and mild trauma to the tissue over the olecranon. For example, there are terms such as “student’s elbow,” plumber’s elbow or miner’s elbow, and these terms are based on prolonged support on the elbows.
  • Single injuries, such as a blow to the back of the elbow, can cause inflammation.
  • Arthritis. One or more bursae may become inflamed as a result of polyarthritis (but most cases of olecranon bursitis are not associated with arthritis).
  • Bursa infection. This can happen if there is a cut in the skin over the bursa that allows bacteria to enter.
  • Idiopathic. In many cases, bursitis occurs for no apparent reason. However, it is possible that in some cases, bursitis is associated with a minor injury that has been forgotten.


Normally, a person cannot feel or see the bursa. If inflammation of the olecranon bursa occurs, then thickening of the skin and swelling appears on the back of the elbow. The bursa can also be filled with fluid and then appear as a small, soft ball – a bit like a cyst. In most cases (non-infected bursitis and not associated with arthritis), elbow bursitis is painless or slightly painful. Movement in the elbow joint is not impaired.

If the bursa is infected (“septic” olecranon bursitis), pain, redness, and tenderness in the elbow typically develop.

Bursitis associated with arthritis may not be painful in itself, but there may be joint pain due to arthritis. Patients with olecranon bursitis usually experience pain and swelling at the back of the elbow. The pain is usually worse when leaning on the elbow or when bending or straightening the elbow. In less severe cases, patients may experience only pain and stiffness in the elbow at rest after activities such as carrying a bag. Additionally, activities such as using a hammer or straightening the elbow against resistance can also cause pain in the initial stages.

As it progresses, patients may experience symptoms that increase during sports or physical activity. Patients may notice swelling and a large ridge above the ulnar prominence. Most patients with olecranon bursitis experience pain when the olecranon is touched. Sometimes small lumps can be felt in the area of ​​the olecranon. Patients may also experience weakness in the elbow, especially when trying to straighten the elbow against resistance.


Typically, a physical examination by a doctor is sufficient to make a diagnosis. But in order to exclude the possible presence of infection or arthritis, it is also necessary to conduct laboratory tests and x-rays. In some cases, CT or MRI may be prescribed to exclude the tumor genesis of the formation.


In most cases, elbow bursitis can heal on its own by reducing the stress on the elbow. But in some cases, medical intervention, including surgery, is required.

Conservative treatment of elbow bursitis includes:

  • Rest and change in activity. Patients with elbow bursitis should avoid activities that put pressure on the elbow. Wearing elbow pads can also help protect the elbow bursa from pressure or additional irritation.
  • Cold. Applying a cold compress to a swollen elbow for 20 minutes two or three times a day can help relieve symptoms and reduce swelling.
  • Compression. Using an elastic bandage wrapped around the affected joint can help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. Elevating the elbow to or above heart level reduces blood flow and thereby reduces inflammation.

Drug treatment. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil), naproxen (such as Aleve), and COX-2 inhibitors (such as Celebrex) can reduce swelling and inflammation and relieve pain associated with elbow bursitis.

Aspiration. Aspiration of the swollen bursa using a needle and syringe relieves the pressure immediately. Aspiration is also done to test the fluid for microbes. (A positive test would indicate septic bursitis).

Corticosteroid injections. Symptoms of bursitis can be significantly reduced with corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, and injecting them directly into the inflamed bursa usually significantly reduces pain and swelling. However, corticosteroid injections have potential side effects such as infections and degeneration of the skin on the elbow. Thus, these injections are usually prescribed for persistent bursitis and other treatment is not effective.

Antibiotics. Septic olecranon bursitis requires antibiotics. The choice of antibiotic depends on the microorganism that is causing the infection (most often Staphylococcus aureus). For most people with septic bursitis, treatment with antibiotics is quite effective, with some requiring hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.


Sometimes chronic bursitis or septic bursitis may require surgery. In a traditional bunionectomy, an incision is made in the elbow and the inflamed bursa is removed. Since the bursa is located under the skin, the elbow joint is not affected during the operation.

Complications of surgical removal of the bursa may include problems with healing of the skin at the incision site and pain. A few months after the operation, a new bursa usually grows at the site of the removed bursa.

After surgery, patients are recommended to fix their elbow for some time with a special bandage, holding the arm at an angle of 90 degrees.

Exercise therapy. After the symptoms of bursitis subside, it is quite effective to prescribe exercise therapy to strengthen muscle tone.


Most patients with this disease recover and return to normal life within a few weeks. Sometimes, rehabilitation can take much longer (up to several months) in cases where bursitis has been going on for quite a long time. Therefore, early treatment and rehabilitation are necessary to restore normal quality of life.

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