Bursitis

  • Treatment

    Your health care provider may recommend temporary rest or immobilization of the affected joint.

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may relieve pain and inflammation. Formal physical therapy may be helpful as well.

    If the inflammation does not respond to the initial treatment, it may be necessary to draw out fluid from the bursa and inject corticosteroids. Surgery is rarely required.

    Exercises for the affected area should be started as the pain goes away. If muscle atrophy (weakness or decrease in size) has occurred, your health care provider may suggest exercises to build strength and increase mobility.

    Bursitis caused by infection is treated with antibiotics. Sometimes the infected bursa must be drained surgically.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    The condition may respond well to treatment, or it may develop into a chronic condition if the underlying cause cannot be corrected.


    Complications
    • Chronic bursitis may occur.
    • Too many steroid injections over a short period of time can cause injury to the surrounding tendons.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if symptoms recur or do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment.