Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Measures you can take to relieve the pain of bursitis include:

  • Rest and don't overuse the affected area.
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling for the first 48 hours after symptoms occur.
  • Apply dry or moist heat, such as a heating pad or taking a warm bath.
  • Take an over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Some are available in a form you apply to the skin.
  • Cushion your knees if you sleep on your side by placing a small pillow between your legs.

Prevention

While not all types of bursitis can be prevented, you can reduce your risk and the severity of flare-ups by changing the way you do certain tasks. Examples include:

  • Using kneeling pads. Use some type of padding to reduce the pressure on your knees if your job or hobby requires a lot of kneeling.
  • Lifting properly. Bend your knees when you lift. Failing to do so puts extra stress on the bursae in your hips.
  • Wheeling heavy loads. Carrying heavy loads puts stress on the bursae in your shoulders. Use a dolly or a wheeled cart instead.
  • Taking frequent breaks. Alternate repetitive tasks with rest or other activities.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight places more stress on your joints.
  • Exercising. Strengthening your muscles can help protect your affected joint.
  • Warming up and stretching before strenuous activities to protect your joints from injury.
Aug. 12, 2017
References
  1. Todd DJ. Bursitis: An overview of clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  2. Tendonitis and bursitis. American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Tendinitis_and_Bursitis/. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  3. Hip bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00409. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  4. Bursitis and tendonitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bursitis/. Accessed June 27, 2017.
  5. Bursitis. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/bursitis/. Accessed June 27, 2017.