Bursitis pain treatment

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs located adjacent to joints. These sacs act as cushions to prevent injury to the joint and surrounding structures.

When these sacs can become inflamed as a result of injury, trauma, disease state (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc.) or repetitive motion. This condition is called bursitis. In cases where the bursa actually becomes infected due to bacteria, this situation is called septic bursitis.

While there is no specific cure, there are many effective treatment options.

Depending on the severity of the inflammation, a range of treatment options are available. Bursitis treatment varies depending on a number of factors. For example, septic bursitis requires antibiotic treatment as well as drainage of the infected bursa. Bursitis related to gout or rheumatoid arthritis may best be treated by steroid injection as well as control of the underlying disease.

Ice used on the inflamed area to decrease swelling is a customary part of bursitis treatment.

Rest and protection of the inflamed bursa is important.

Physical therapy and exercise can aid in the post treatment period after the inflammation has subsided.

Medications such as analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) sometimes are effective in the treatment of bursitis.

These drugs are often used in the treatment of bursitis since they help control the swelling of bursitis as well as decrease the pain and stiffness.

Cortisone injections provide quick relief for bursitis.

However, corticosteroids are not completely safe if used on a regular basis as they can weaken cartilage.


A truly effective treatment for bursitis seems to be available in the form of percutaneous needle tenotomy with autologous tissue grafting. This is a minimally invasive procedure using a small needle with ultrasound guidance. Blood is drawn from a patient and spun in a special centrifuge in order to harvest the platelet rich plasma component. Platelets are cells that contain multiple growth and healing factors. The patient then has the skin over the inflamed bursa anesthetized with local lidocaine. A small needle is introduced into the bursa and multiple tiny holes are made. The platelet rich plasma is then injected. Healing then occurs.

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