Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation similar conditions Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and inflammation warning signs Prevention Underlying Cause

Swelling of the Bursa Home Care

Home care for bursitis includes:

  • Apply cold compresses:
    • Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 4 hours, for the first few days.
  • Elevate your arm or leg:
    • Above your heart if possible
  • Rest the arm or leg:
    • Use a walker.
    • Use crutches.
    • Use a cane.
    • Wear a sling
  • Apply an elastic wrap.
    • Re-wrap the joint every 6 hours.
  • Apply warm compresses:
    • After a few days of cold compresses.
  • Perform stretching exercises
    • After the pain has resolved
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

For more information:

Swelling of the Bursa Pain and Inflammation

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with bursitis include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Swelling of the Bursa Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have bursitis and any of the following:

Continue to Swelling of the Bursa Prevention

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swelling of the Bursa References
  1. Bennett R. Addressing musculoskeletal pain. Geriatrics. 2004 Aug;59(8):11-2. [15332411]
  2. Gutierrez G, Burroughs M, Poddar S. Clinical inquiries. Does injection of steroids and lidocaine in the shoulder relieve bursitis? J Fam Pract. 2004 Jun;53(6):488-92. [15189724]
  3. Shbeeb MI, Matteson EL: Trochanteric bursitis (greater trochanter pain syndrome). Mayo Clin Proc 1996 Jun; 71(6): 565-9. [8642885]
  4. Zimmermann B 3rd, Mikolich DJ, Ho G Jr: Septic bursitis. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1995 Jun; 24(6): 391-410. [7667644]
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