What is included in conservative treatment for bursitis?

Updated: Dec 11, 2020
  • Author: Kristine M Lohr, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Conservative treatment to reduce inflammation is used for most patients with bursitis and includes the following:

  • Rest
  • Cold and heat treatments
  • Elevation
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Bursal aspiration
  • Intrabursal steroid injections (with or without local anesthetic agents)

Patients with suspected septic bursitis should be treated with antibiotics while awaiting culture results. Surgical excision of bursae may be required as a last resort for chronic or frequently recurrent bursitis.

See the following for discussion of bursitis at specific sites:

For patient education resources, see the Arthritis Center, as well as Bursitis.

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