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Bursitis is a condition that doesn’t discriminate. Whether you’re an athlete pushing your body to its limits, part of our wiser elderly population experiencing the trials of age, or simply someone going about their daily life, the risk of encountering bursitis is real. But with an understanding of what bursitis entails, its causes, and the treatments available, we can empower ourselves to prevent or manage this condition effectively.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, tiny, fluid-filled sacs throughout our bodies. These sacs act as cushions, reducing friction between bones and soft tissues and creating smooth, pain-free movement. When these bursae become inflamed, movement can become painful and challenging, affecting your quality of life.

image of bursitis on the elbow

Finding the Causes of Bursitis

Bursitis can result from various activities and conditions that put excessive pressure on the bursae over time. This includes repetitive motions or positions that irritate or pressure the bursae. Athletes, for instance, often get bursitis in joints that perform frequent repetitive motions, such as the shoulder, elbow, or knee.

Age is another factor, as wear and tear on the bursae increase over the years. Additionally, traumatic injuries can cause immediate bursitis, and certain systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, can predispose individuals to inflammation of the bursae.

Cures and Treatments

Fortunately, there are multiple routes to alleviating the discomfort of bursitis. Non-prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce pain and swelling. Applying ice to the affected area during the first stages of pain can also help manage inflammation.

acupuncture on shoulder for bursitis

Acupuncture for Bursitis Relief

Acupuncture is a therapy recognized for its analgesic effects. By targeting specific points based on the location of your bursitis—whether in the hip, knee, or shoulder—acupuncture can reduce inflammation and stiffness while promoting the drainage of excess fluids. This method uses the body’s natural pain-relief mechanisms, including the release of endorphins, to provide significant relief.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

TCM practices such as acupressure and Chinese herbal therapy may help combat bursitis. Corydalis Analgesic Tablets, aloe vera, herb plasters, and herbal teas with meadowsweet, horsetail, and willow bark are some treatments used to alleviate pain and inflammation. The personalized combination of these therapies can offer holistic relief from the symptoms.

The Power of Hydrotherapy and Homeopathy

Alternating hot and cold compresses—an easy-to-follow hydrotherapy method—can remarkably help bursitis patients. Homeopathic remedies like Ruta graveolens have also shown promise in easing the discomfort associated with the condition.

massage on back

Massage Therapy for Bursitis

A skilled therapist provides massage treatments to relieve bursitis’s acute and chronic symptoms, especially in the shoulder. Techniques such as gentle Swedish massage strokes, kneading, and trigger point massage reduce inflammation, improve range of motion, and soothe related stress and anxiety. These methods target the pain and encourage healing by increasing circulation and breaking down scar tissue.

Chiropractic Care

Joint manipulation offered by our chiropractic care specialists can loosen soft tissues, restore flexibility, and relieve pressure on the affected bursa. Chiropractic adjustments can provide considerable relief when combined with physiotherapy treatments like ultrasound and shockwave stimulation.

physiotherapist examining a patient's knee for possible bursitis

Physiotherapy: The Frontline of Bursitis Management

Typically, the first approach to managing bursitis involves physiotherapy. This non-invasive treatment focuses on strengthening the muscles surrounding the affected joint, alleviating pain and preventing future occurrences. Physiotherapy exercises, tailored to individual needs, play a crucial role in recovery, often spanning approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Your physiotherapist may prescribe specific exercises to prevent bursitis from progressing to more severe conditions like frozen shoulder syndrome.

Corticosteroid Injections: A Closer Look

Your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections if other treatments do not fully resolve your symptoms. Esteemed for their ability to provide rapid relief from pain by reducing inflammation, these injections are particularly effective in treating conditions like trochanteric bursitis, commonly seen in older adults. However, it’s important to note that the benefits of corticosteroid injections tend to be temporary, and excessive use might lead to tissue damage.

The Balance Between Immediate Relief and Long-Term Health

It’s crucial to understand that corticosteroid injections offer quick pain relief but don’t address bursitis’s root cause. This is where the expertise of our interdisciplinary team at Newleaf Total Wellness Centre becomes invaluable. We emphasize a holistic approach, combining immediate relief methods with long-term rehabilitation through physiotherapy. This blend aims to improve joint function, enhance muscle strength, and correct posture and ergonomic issues, paving the way for sustainable healing.

An Individualized, Collaborative Approach

Our treatment plans are highly personalized, recognizing the unique nature of each case of bursitis. We consider a range of factors, including the severity of symptoms, patient preferences, and overall health, ensuring that we address every aspect of your condition. Collaboration is at the heart of our practice; physiotherapists work closely with specialists such as orthopedic doctors, rheumatologists, and pain management experts to ensure comprehensive care.

Understanding Bursitis Prevention

The key to preventing bursitis is minimizing the stress placed upon your joints—a critical consideration for athletes, professionals, or individuals whose daily activities involve repetitive motions. Here are essential strategies to incorporate into your routine to shield your joints from undue strain:

  1. Employ Proper Techniques

Applying the correct techniques is fundamental whether you’re engaging in sports or repetitive work tasks. This might include adjusting your posture or changing your approach to physical activities to distribute pressure more evenly across your joints.

  1. Incorporate Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks during prolonged activity helps alleviate pressure on the bursae. Short rest intervals can be remarkably effective in preventing the onset of bursitis by giving your joints time to recover from continuous stress.

  1. Strengthen Supporting Muscles

Exercises tailored to bolster muscle groups relevant to your daily activities can support your joints. By strengthening these muscles, you enhance your overall physical health and reduce the burden on your joints, mitigating the risk of developing bursitis.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Extra weight can exert added pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips, increasing the likelihood of bursitis. Maintaining a healthy weight through balanced nutrition and regular exercise minimizes this risk.

  1. Opt for Anti-inflammatory Nutrition

Inflammation is a core part of bursitis, so making dietary choices that fuel or fend off inflammation is incredibly impactful. Working with a holistic nutritionist to develop meal plans that avoid inflammatory foods while being enjoyable and sustaining can play a pivotal role in preventing bursitis. Tailored nutrition supports joint health and helps your overall wellness.


In wrapping up our comprehensive discussion on bursitis, it’s clear that this condition touches many lives, irrespective of age or lifestyle. However, our knowledge about bursitis—its causes, treatments, and preventive measures—illuminates a path forward that can help manage and even prevent this painful condition.

At Newleaf Total Wellness, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge and offering a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that addresses the root causes, not just the symptoms. Bursitis, though common, doesn’t have to be a condition that limits your quality of life. Individuals can return to daily activities comfortably and efficiently with the right approach, guidance, and care.

Remember, every step to understanding and caring for your body is a step towards a healthier, more active life. We’re here to support you on that journey, providing the expertise and care needed to move beyond pain and toward optimal well-being. If you are suffering with bursitis, book an appointment at Newleaf today!


The content on the Newleaf Total Wellness Centre blog, including insights on various holistic health practices, serves purely educational purposes. Before adopting any new health regimen, including treatments or herbal remedies mentioned here, consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s suitable for you. Our blog does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We encourage meaningful discussions with your healthcare provider to secure the best care for your well-being.

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