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.
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.