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Bursitis as its name implies is an inflammatory response of the bursa to repetitive stress, most commonly at the knee or elbow. The bursa is a fluid-filled pad over a bony prominence.

Bursitis was a common disorder when maids scrubbed the floors on their knees (“prepatellar bursitis”), or students placed their elbows on desks (“olecranon bursitis”). A bunion is a thickened bursa at the base of the great toe.

Other bursae are located away from external points, such as within the shoulder, where subdeltoid bursitis can provoke frozen shoulder.


Although usually a reaction to pressure, it may be produced by an injury (e.g. a receiver in football landing on astroturf, elbows first, to protect the ball) or even bacterial infection.

Signs & Symptoms

Painful swelling and restricted joint motion at strategic locations of the body e.g. elbow, knee.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Joint Support

General Supplements

Bioflavonoids 500-1000 mg
Vitamin B complex*
Vitamin C 1000-3000 mg
Selenium 100-300 mcg
Zinc20-50 mg

* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.


All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Vitamin B12 as an intramuscular injection has been recommended, while infected varieties may improve with vitamin C together with bioflavonoids.

Homeopathic Remedy

Arnica montana tinct.
Bryonia alba tinct.
Calcarea phos. tinct.
Hecla lava

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.


Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Herbal Approaches



Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Please refer also to the herbal section under Arthritis.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Clary Sage Essence,Cypress Essence,
Ginger Essence,Juniper Essence,
Marjoram Essence,Rosemary Essence.

Related Health Conditions

ArthritisAtopic dermatitis
Diabetes MellitusFasciitis
PainRheumatoid arthritis
StrainsSystemic sclerosis
TendonitisTophaceous gout



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Nassif A et al .,Olecranon and pretibial bursitis in atopic dermatitis: coincidence or association? [see comments]. J Am Acad Dermatol, 1994 May, 30:5 Pt 1, 737-42.

Ornvold K & Paepke J: Aspergillus terreus as a cause of septic olecranon bursitis. Am J Clin Pathol, 1992 Jan, 97:1, 114-6.

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