Last Modified on Apr 21, 2016
Bursitis is a condition that often only becomes progressively worse. You may think you can “work out” the pain; however, this continued movement typically only irritates the condition further. Even so, you can use a number of natural cures to relieve bursitis pain, including castor oil, ginger, and white willow bark.
What Is Bursitis?
Bursitis can be defined as a painful condition that results from inflammation. Your body contains a number of fluid-filled sacs or pouches, known as bursa, surrounding your major joints. These sacs are designed to compensate for friction between your muscles, tendons, and bones where your joints come together; however, if you overuse a certain set of muscles or joints, the bursa becomes irritated and inflamed.
Different individuals experience bursitis differently, but the condition is characterized by a number of common symptoms. If you have bursitis, the affected joint will likely feel achy or stiff, hurt more when you use it or apply pressure to it, and look swollen or red.
Generally speaking, bursitis is caused by repetitive motions or positions. Common causes of bursitis include throwing a baseball, heavy lifting, leaning on your elbows for long periods, extensive kneeling, and prolonged sitting. The most common locations for the condition are in the shoulder, elbow, and hip, but you may also experience the condition in your knee, heel, or the base of your big toe.
What Natural Remedies Relieve Bursitis?
In most cases, bursitis goes away on its own; however, you may need medical attention if you experience the disabling of your affected joint, pain for more than one to two weeks, excessive swelling or bruising, sharp pain, or a fever. Even in more severe cases, though, natural remedies help relieve pain and treat the condition. Three of the most common natural treatment suggestions include castor oil, ginger, and white willow bark, but there are a number of other options as well.
1. Castor Oil
Dr. David Williams suggests using castor oil as one of the first lines of defense for bursitis. According to research, this treatment is one of the most economical and efficient methods for treating bursitis as it delivers healing components directly to the body tissues. This treatment helps relieve pain as well as the inflammation that causes the issue. To use this treatment, apply 5 t0 10 mL of castor oil to a washcloth and apply the cloth to the affected area. Then use a heating pad or heated towels to apply external heat directly to the area.
Dr. Weil suggests utilizing ginger as a natural pain reliever. This nutrient contains specific compounds that help reduce inflammation and, in turn, relieve pain. You should take two 500mg capsules of powdered ginger one to two times a day for natural relief.
3. White Willow Bark
The experts at LiveStrong.com also suggest using white willow bark to relieve bursitis. This treatment contains salicin, which is actually similar to the main ingredient in aspirin salicylic acid. As such, the bark helps reduce inflammation and treat pain. Try taking 500mg of the extract one to two times a day.
DMSO is another effective remedy for bursitis. This compound is a chemical made from wood pulp that helps treat inflammation. Begin using this treatment by applying a 70 percent solution of the compound to the area with a cotton ball or cloth. Apply the solution three times a day in the beginning, slowly working your way back to two and then one application per day.
Keep reading for many more tips for treating bursitis naturally from our readers!
Bursitis - http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00325/Bursitis.html
Bursitis - http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/arthritis-bursitis
Diseases and Conditions: Bursitis - http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bursitis/basics/definition/con-20015102
Natural Home Remedies for Bursitis - http://www.livestrong.com/article/100681-natural-home-remedies-bursitis/
Therapies for Treating Bursitis Naturally - http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/natural-therapies-bursitis/?promocode=WEB14#castor_oil_pack
Remedies for Bursitis
The Popularity of Bursitis Remedies - Full List
|ACV, Molasses, Ginger, Castor Oil Packs||2||2015-06-16|
|Alternating Heat/Ice Therapy||1||2010-05-11|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||8||2015-06-30|
|Apple Cider Vinegar, Blackstrap Molasses, Baking Soda||1||2013-06-20|
|Milk of Magnesia||10||2015-03-21|
|Swiss Cheese, Beer||0||2012-10-04|
|Vitamin B12, Pecans||1||2007-05-14|
I've had left hip bursitis (very painful) since March 2015 and the doctors have not helped at all. 2 different doctors, 2 MRI's, 1 x-ray and a lot of another pills including pain pills that only take the edge off and it is going worse. So last night I did the castor oil pack and took the ACV with Blackstrap molasses and I also used them both today and the pain is 70% better. I also bought fresh ginger root, peeled it, cut it into chunks and put it in a gallon water jug and drink it a few times a day. I will continue this and I will definitely keep everyone undated on my progress. So far so good.
Replied by Sandra
Replied by Diane
Opa Locka, Fla
Replied by Sandra
Posted by Javagenie (Central, Vt) on 05/11/2010
This cure worked for me and I hope I can help someone else. The method is called alternating heat/ice therapy. I suffered for 2 weeks with this awful pain in my right shoulder. I was finally told by a friend what it was. I had never even heard of bursitis before. He said he had it once and the dr gave him a shot of cortisone. After doing some research, I was not going to a Dr. for that. But, on the 3rd week, I could not rotate my shoulder enough to get dressed. I tried heat and cold packs. It hurt so much I was taking 800mg ibuprofen 6 times a day. That's every 4hrs. on the dot. It would wake me up at night when I needed another dose.
Finally i read about this alternating heat and cold therapy. Apparently there are a lot of different ways to do it. Basically, you place ice on the affected area for 10min. and then switch to heat for 5min. You keep alternating back and forth for an hour or even longer if you want. The idea is to create a pump within your joint/muscles. Cold pushes blood out and heat pulls it in. Allowing the infection inflmation to be pumped right out of the joint. This made sense to me. So, I got started.
I honestly didn't keep track of time... when it felt like it was aching from too much cold (5-10min.) I would swap to heat until it felt nice and relaxed. Then switch back to cold. Important thing to remember: always end with cold. You want to remove the inflamation at the end. I used ice packs wrapped in towels and an electric heating pad. I would do this for up to 2hrs a night watching tv or reading before bed. Every morning it felt better... so, I kept doing it. After 4-5days, my shoulder was almost completely healed. I had some minor pain when over extending the range of motion. Like reaching high above my head (eg. reaching for a dish on the top shelf). But, within a few days that was gone. I suffered miserably for 3 weeks... and in only a few days this relieved it. I'm sure it would've only taken 1 or 2 treatements to cure this if I started sooner. Anyway, It's been about a month, and no pain still.
Can you imagine how powerful this technique would be with the right herbal remedies? Combining this with a natural antibiotic/anti-inflamatory would be great. Unfortunately, I had no idea what to take so heat/ice was all i used.
Replied by Rainman
Central, Vt, Usa
Replied by Samantha
Replied by Caroline
Replied by Wideawake
Chicago, Illinois, Us
Replied by Alice
Replied by Alice
Posted by Helena (Toronto) on 06/30/2015
ACV definitely worked for me. I have bursitis in my left shoulder could not sleep at nights. Tried different rubs not much relief. However started taking ACV with water in the morning and night and did see a dramatic change. Can do some yoga and the shoulder is almost back to normal. I also find that the ACV is working for weight loss as well which is an added bonus!
Replied by Edye
Posted by Eulalio (Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland) on 02/16/2013
I have no history of bursitis or anything like it, although I have a right shoulder ball and socket joint that has always been able to dislocate, so maybe some structural problems there.
Anyway, a couple months back I started practicing kung fu and qi gong more intensively than in the past (like 2 hours a day). Right shoulder started getting sore enough so I couldn't lie on it at night (turns out to be a standard sign of bursitis).
Finally one day it started getting really inflamed and the pain just getting worse. Worst pain I ever experienced for a solid week. Couldn't even move the arm. Excruciating. Aspirin helped the most among over-the-counter pills. Couldn't even wait the 4 hours between doses.
Anyway, accurately verified diagnosis as bursitis online and found this site. Got a bottle of apple cider vinegar and started taking a spoonful in water 3 times a day. Wasn't sure at first whether it was helping or my body was just following its natural course of healing.
After a few weeks, inflammation was down to maybe 25% of the original and I was doing light exercise again. Cut the vinegar treatment down to once a day and improvement seemed to stop. So, after a week I went back to 3 times again and improvement picked up again.
It's now 6 weeks since it all started and I'm able to sleep on the arm again, and am working out again, although much more carefully. I try to avoid exercises that rotate the arm in a 360 degree circle as this causes a "click" in the tendons that I think may be most responsible for irritating the area.
My bottom line is that I'm pretty sure the vinegar is doing something, so I'm going to continue it perhaps indefinitely.
Posted by Amrita (Mississauga, Ontario) on 02/01/2013
Am in my 20s & had knee pain a few months back & had much trouble folding my knees, especially while taking the stairs or folding the joints.
After an X-ray & Ultrasound my doctor said it was bursitis, might be due to some shock or trauma from falling down or sports, although I couldnot recollect any. Could have been just due wrong position I slept that might have twisted the tissues causing inflammation which was internal but apparently not visible externally but caused much trouble in my daily life & I panicked a lot. Although 2 weeks of medication : VIMOVO seemed to have controlled it still, I felt the pain during walking & other activites. Also standing for sometime like cooking kind of aggravated it.
I didnt want to depend on medicine as I did a bit of research and found that the medicine is quiet strong & not good for intestine as well.
So I came to earthclinic & found people talking about it. Many suggested Apple Cider Vinegar as a cure. So I thought lets try it the natural way. I ordered ACV (Bragg or Filsinger both are equally good) and blackstrap molasses.
From then I mix 2 Tablespoon of ACV & 1 Tspoon of molass in a glass of lukewarm water & drink it first thing in the morning around half an hr before before having any breakfast. I noticed my pain gradually went away which had not completely disappeared even with strong dose of Vimovo.
Also it seems to have given me immunity to cold, coz Canadian Winter is chilly & temp is below -10 many a times, and I came to Canada recently on business for a year, not much used to winter.
Also mix honey with ACV if I run out of blackstrap molass, seems to be good.
So thanks to every one who is discussing their experiences in earth clinic, and I hope mine also helps some one too.
Replied by Joan
Posted by Stephen (Birzebbugia, Malta) on 05/18/2010
Bursitis cured with ACV. I am over 50 and had a bad fall, landed on my elbow. It swelled and thought it would go away, it didn't. Three months after I started putting ACV on it, and it remained the same.
Then I soaked a piece of cloth in ACV, kept it on the swell with an elbow support sleeve, almost day & night, and after one day it went down by 15%. I also was careful not to hit it again. On 2nd and 3rd day, down by 75%. That ugly swell has gone and hoping for a complete healing.
Replied by Sassy
Posted by Dinah (PA, CA) on 01/05/2006
Hi, just needed to write to say I suffered from "bursitis" in the hip for a year and a half. Every doctor said the same thing: vicodin for the pain, advil for the inflammation, and prescription muscle relaxers for the accompanying muscle cramps, and several rounds of physical therapy. I certainly couldn't function on the medications, and only seemed to get temporarily, mildly better. I stumbled suddenly had a craving for sauerkraut, if you can believe it, and borscht and homemade salad dressings-all foods that I usually don't like. I am not exaggerating when I say I slept my first night pain free, and started doing the vinegar and honey concoction and simply can't believe I feel so good, so fast! I did increase my water intact, too, to aid in cleansing my body of whatever it had, too. I just used Heinz and Sue Bee and all that pain from mid-back to knees are gone. I even did yoga today which I love but was told it was irritating the bursas-"try swimming." How can I swim while taking vicodin and muscle relaxers?!?!?
Replied by Michael
Replied by Bob
Replied by Luanne
Replied by Nicola
Cambooya, Queensland, Australia
Replied by Bob From Md
Replied by Debih
Moreno Valley, Ca, Usa
Replied by Melanie
Posted by Georgiana
My father had just retired. A very active man all his life, he found himself suffering with bursitis in the shoulder joints. After taking honey and cider vinegar twice am and eve. for approx two weeks he felt relief and better mobility. After 30 days he could do windmills with both arms. He was so grateful. Thanks for the site, love the generosity and sharing.
Posted by Cathy (North Carolina)
I have been suffering for 2 years with bursitis and osteoarthritis in my hip. I have been on all kinds of medications for this, and it feels better as long as I don't stop my meds. I have been in so much pain that I could not hardly walk. I started taking ACV for 2 days now and my legs are not even hurting. I have so much more energy than I had before. This is so much better than medications.
Replied by Teresa
Replied by Denise Enright
Laguna Niguel, California /USA
Replied by Liz
Beverly Hills, California
Replied by Fartknockingmachine
Here, Over There
Replied by Kelley
Houston, Texas, Usa
Posted by Debi (Moreno Valley, California) on 06/20/2013
Bursitis and Heel Spurs: I started trying Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) & Blackstrap Molasses (BSM) (warm water, 1TB ACV + 1 ts BSM) and it was less than a week before my limping started getting better & hip stopped hurting 24/7. As usual I wasn't consistent and then I was also diagnosed with 2 heel spurs and after 2 weeks of that I got a gout attack in the other foot (2nd one in two years). I'm back on the ACV and the BSM + 1 ts of Baking Soda. I read that somewhere too. I do the ACV in the BS and let the foam die down, then add the BSM and then the very warm water. I actually am going to start doing one before bed too. I get up in the morning and do oil pulling first for 20-30 min, then the ACV/BSM, then a bit later I do 24 oz of water with lemon and ginger. I hope these details help. I wish when people post they'd just put how much and when they take what ever they take. Thanks to everyone for their sharing ;-)
Replied by Christine
Replied by Dan
Posted by Frankie (Franklin, Louisiana) on 08/10/2007
I am new to using BSM...4 weeks ago had an MRI which showed I had a torn meniscus in the right knee, along with arthritis. Orth doctor said at this time, there is no need for surgery. He recommended I take 500mg of calcium a day to help heal the knee and help the bones. This got me very down because I am very active. I was not going to wait around so a friend in Ca. said how BSM was good for tons of things. I found Earth Clinic and I referred to it several times. I LOVE to research and research. Living in Louisiana, we have many sugar cane mills. I found thru friends a gallon of BSM from the mill. And OH YES.....it is nasty. BUT, every morning I take a Tablespoon right down....no time to play with mixing it in anything. I have been taking BSM for 3 weeks now. This I have noticed and right away. Although active, I was tired everyday......everyday. I ate right but was still tired....NOT ANYMORE......trust me on this one.....I saw the surgeron last week and he commented on how the leg was easy to move and how I was coming along so well. He commented on how I was very up beat and was even losing weight....for some reason I am not hungry all the time. I need to lose some weight to help the knees and I feel that the BSM has come to my rescue....We all know that it takes time for many remedies or meds. to help in various health issues. As I have researched on BSM, it can only benefit you and not harm. My husband began to take it daily also. He has been dealing with hip pain for the last 3 years..bursitus...in the last 3 weeks he has seen a difference. He also has more energy. I will keep you informed of our progress
Replied by Blanche
Posted by K.C. (Portland, Oregon) on 06/25/2007
I had a calcified bursa on my right shoulder that had become so painful that, after six months of physical therapy, it was no better and I was scheduled for cortisone shots. I did not want them because of the immuno-suppressant tendency of cortisone. One night I had the impression to try a castor oil pack on it, just out of the blue. So I did. I wrapped my shoulder and underarm (after washing it) and left the pack on all night. In the morning the problem was 95% better. I did it four more nights and have not had the problem since. About five years now.
Replied by Lance
Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
Replied by Kay
Santa Cruz, California
Replied by Cory
Los Angeles, Ca
Replied by Jo
Replied by Sandra
Posted by Richard (Winston Salem, North Carolina) on 06/23/2008
cayenne pepper rememdies: cayenne pepper foot baths will completely cure bad feet, although if you continue to work on hard floors the cure might need to be repeated every so often. also, cayenne pepper does wonders on hemorrhoids when mixed with an otc ointment (not vaseline). go very light on this one and be ready to wash it off yourself if you cant stand the burning. i've also tried cayenne pepper in a vaseline salve that i made on the cookstove that completely cured the bursitis in my shoulder.
Replied by Bill
Replied by Jr
Replied by Margaret
Replied by Michele
Replied by Michele
Posted by Saysouda (Nashville, Tn) on 10/09/2009
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for bursitis, joint pain.
I'm 36 yrs old and for 3 yrs I have bursitis on the should area and pain in my wrist. I decided after reading on earthclinic to give VCO a try. In one week I noticed the pain went away and I have more energy. It really really WORKS!
I take a 1 Tablespoon/day. Put in coffee, spread it on toast instead of butter, put some in my soup, add to my pasta sauce. I love the smell. I even use it as a cold cream to clean my face at night. I even give VCO to my dogs and cats and their coats are shiny and soft! I will continue to take this the rest of my life. I love VCO! Thank you earthclinic.