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The larger joints of the body are surrounded by “bursa”. These are small, flat fluid-filled sacs which help the gliding motion of the muscles and tendons over the joints.

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa due to injury, overuse of the joint, or infection of the bursa itself. Symptoms include pain and tenderness over a joint that is made worse with movement.

Bursitis is treated with an anti-inflammatory medicine and by resting the joint. More severe cases require injection of medicine directly into the bursa.

Home Care:

  1. Apply an ice pack (ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel) over the injured area for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours the first day. Continue this 3-4 times a day until the pain and swelling improves.

  2. Rest the painful joint and protect it from movement. This will allow the inflammation to heal faster.

  3. You may take ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) to treat pain and inflammation, unless another medicine was prescribed. If you can't take these medicines, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help with the pain, but does not treat inflammation. [NOTE: If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.]

  4. As your symptoms improve, begin gradual motion at the joint. Do not overuse the joint, which may cause the symptoms to flare up again.

Follow Up With Your Doctor If Not Improving After Three Days Of Treatment.

Get Prompt Medical Attention If Any Of The Following Occur: 

  • Redness over the painful area

  • Increasing pain or swelling at the joint

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider


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