Treatment for bursitis

With age comes wisdom, as the saying goes. But oftentimes with that wisdom comes another not so subtle...

With age comes wisdom, as the saying goes. But oftentimes with that wisdom comes another not so subtle reminder that you're not as young as you used to be. For example, you may find yourself with bursitis--the painful inflammation of bursa(e) (fluid filled sacs) that most commonly occurs in the hip, foot, elbow or shoulder areas. Not to worry though! Below are some common causes, affected areas and a few options that can ease treatment for bursitis!

Common causes and affected areas

The most common cause of bursitis is repetitive motion, which is one reason it is often associated with sports injuries. Things like ball throwing and activities that need constant kneeling can contribute to the development of bursitis. Other causes include stress or trauma injury (car accidents), gout and in some cases, rheumatoid arthritis.

The hip. Oh, the dreaded hip! Bursitis that occurs in the hip can make it painful to walk, run or even sit!

Shoulder area. The shoulder is the most likely candidate for sports-related bursitis. Bursitis in this area makes it painful to raise your arm, throw a ball or reach for overhead or otherwise distanced objects.

Feet. Foot bursitis is usually the result of bone deformation or improperly sized footwear. Often it manifests as a bunion on the foot.

Elbow. The elbow is another area often related to sports injuries, and elbow bursitis (also known as olecranon bursitis) can be particularly painful. Signs of elbow bursitis include limited motion, swelling on the bony tip of the elbow and of course pain in the area.

*Bursitis can develop in other joint-related areas as well, such as the ankle, wrist and even the fingers.


Usually the treatment for bursitis is relatively simple, and includes resting the affected area, immobilization, applying heat or cold packs and taking anti-inflammatory medications. It is important to avoid taking acetaminophen (aspirin) for pain, as these pharmaceuticals contain steroids and can aggravate the condition.

If you find that home treatment does not fully relieve your symptoms, please contact an Atlanta-area chiropractor or medical professional as soon as possible. Prolonged bursitis can lead to other medical conditions, such as bacterial infections that can limit or complicate further treatment.

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