Everything You Need to Know About Bursitis

Although there are natural remedies that can help alleviate inflammation and pain, if you suffer from bursitis the first thing you should do is go to a specialist for a medical diagnosis
Everything You Need to Know About Bursitis

Last update: 09 January, 2019

The human body is highly prone to localised inflammations that can be related to many factors. A clear example of this is bursitis, an uncomfortable and painful disease, which is much more common than people think.

Synovial bursa

Also known simply as a bursa, this is a bag or sac wrapped in synovial tissue and viscous fluids, located in various parts of the body.

Although it’s very small, it’s main function is extremely important, since it prevents friction between bone ends. Thus, it prevents diseases such as arthritis or osteoarthritis.

  • In simpler words, a bursa is a kind of pillow for the bones.
  • A disease related to bursae is bursitis, a condition which few people know about but is actually quite common.

What is bursitis?

Moving on from this background knowledge, bursitis is the inflammation of the synovial bursa. It can also refer to irritation of the bursa.

This condition tends to affect the joints in:

  • Heels
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Pelvis
  • Knuckles (both in hands and feet)

Types of bursitis

Despite being a seemingly simple problem, bursitis can be divided into two major types:


  • This is characterised by red colouration of the skin and a slightly higher temperature in relation to the rest of the body.
  • Normally this is a case of infection.


  • This doesn’t actually differ much from acute bursitis. It’s actually the evolution of prolonged acute bursitis.
  • In this case the pain and redness are much more marked.
  • As to the potential causes, it can be due to previous joint injuries.

Causes of bursitis

Virtually anyone can suffer from bursitis. However, the most affected are the elderly.

In this case, the main cause of this condition is the overuse, or rather, the repetitive movement of the joint.

Therefore, people who take part in certain repetitive activities are also affected. Because of this, many different people, from swimmers to carpenters, have an elevated risk of developing bursitis.

On the other hand, direct injury and some diseases, such as gout, can also cause it.

How to recognise bursitis?

It’s not very difficult to recognise this disease, and even less if it’s in a person who performs a lot of repetitive movement on one or more joints.

Although the symptoms depend on where the problem occurs, the most likely are:

  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness around the affected joint
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Joint pain
  • Fever (in more serious cases)

What to do?

The pain, the inflammation and the discomfort cause us to look for remedies of any kind. However, the most appropriate thing, first of all, is to go to a medical professional.

Once they’ve made an official diagnosis, you should follow their recommendations to the letter.

Then we can look at different natural remedies to complement the medical treatment.

Apple cider vinegar

This is considered to be the daddy of bursitis remedies due to its main properties.

Apple cider vinegar helps reduce inflammation as well as to providing protein to the body.


  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar (125 ml)
  • 1 tbsp. of honey (25 g)

Preparation and use

  • Mix the vinegar and honey in a bowl.
  • Soak a towel or absorbent cloth in the mixture.
  • Apply it on the affected area and leave it to act for 15 minutes.


Ginger is distinguished for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

It also helps blood circulation which is directly related to bursitis.


  • 3 tbsps. grated ginger (30 g)
  • ½ cup hot water (125 ml)

Preparation and use

  • The ginger can be grated at home or can be bought ready-grated.
  • Wrap it in a gauze or cloth (neither too thin nor too thick) and then submerge it in hot water.
  • Wait a couple of minutes to allow it to steep in the water.
  • Apply the hot gauze on the affected area, being careful not to burn yourself.
  • Leave it to act for 15 to 20 minutes.
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