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What are the treatments for bursitis?

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Quick Answer

WebMD recommends treating bursitis by resting, avoiding activities that aggravate the affected area, icing the injury and using anti-inflammatory medication. Mild bursitis can be treated at home; more severe cases may require physical therapy or prescription medication.

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Bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursa, which are fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction in the joints, according to WebMD. This injury can arise through overuse of a joint, as repeated motions damage the bursa. Alternatively, a sudden impact injury can also lead to bursitis. The injury is common among athletes and adults over 40 years of age.

WebMD explains that the symptoms of bursitis are pain near a joint. This may be accompanied by loss of mobility of the joint and swelling. If the immobility and swelling are severe, or if the pain is accompanied by a fever, consult a doctor about treatment.

When symptoms of bursitis arise, decrease physical activity and try to rest the afflicted joint as much as possible, says WebMD. Icing helps reduce pain and swelling, and it is particularly effective in the acute stages of the disease, immediately after symptoms arise. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications typically suffice to treat bursitis; however, in severe cases, a doctor may prescribe steroid injections at the site of the injury to quickly reduce pain and inflammation.

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