What is bursitis? What are my treatment options? If you’ve been asking yourself these questions
then join us as we explore bursitis together with Dr Eve (tcm) as she outlines her knowledge,
experience, and a clinical case study. From medication to acupuncture and other manual therapies,
bursitis has a range of treatment options so let’s start finding the right one for you!
Bursa – A sac containing fluid that cushions joints such as the hip or shoulder
Itis – inflammation
Bursitis can be quite painful and can have a great impact on quality of life. As you can see from the
picture above, an inflamed bursa swells and can create additional pressure in the area. Bursitis is
most commonly caused by repetitive use of the affected joint and often rest will help ease
Some people may start to get recurrent flare-ups or have bursitis that does not go away with a few
weeks of rest. In these cases, you should speak to your healthcare team!
What can Western Medicine (your GP) do for you?
Common treatments in Western medicine for bursitis include;
– anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation and swelling
– corticosteroid injections for pain relief and swelling reduction
– physiotherapy to increase muscle strength and reduce joint pressure
– and in extreme cases, they may consider surgery to drain the excess fluids.
What other healthcare professionals can we recommend?
Osteopaths such as our neighbours Whole Health Osteopathy
(https://www.wholehealthosteo.com/) may use manual therapies to try to relieve the pressure on
your joints and/or assign stretches to relieve pressure and strengthen muscles.
Chiropractors such as Steve’s Positive Motion clinic at Rebalance may realign your joints to ease
pressure if this is contributing to your bursitis.
As always, we recommend speaking to the members of your healthcare team about their individual
recommendations for your bursitis and if their skills will help your particular case.
Pain in Chinese Medicine can come from a few root causes. Most commonly, pain is caused by what
we call Qi stagnation, Blood stasis or a combination of the two.
As with a lot of our pain cases, a bursitis treatment will see us focusing on moving qi and/or blood.
This basically means we will be improving circulation locally and making sure your energy is flowing
This may be done with any number of the following modalities:
– Chinese herbal formula prescription
Example of a Rebalance treatment plan:
Earlier this year, a patient was seeking assistance with her hip bursitis. She had received cortisone
which didn’t provide lasting relief. She has received 11 acupuncture treatments from me so far and
is now back to doing one of her most loved hobbies – dancing. She was used to dancing 1.5 – 2 hours
at a time but was struggling to make it to 1 hour with the bursitis.
During her 8 th session she reported dancing for over 1 hour twice in one week with minimal
discomfort. These improvements continued over the next few treatments as well.
She received twice-weekly acupuncture treatments for two weeks followed by weekly acupuncture
for 4 weeks then fortnightly acupuncture for 2 sessions then a final follow-up a month later. This is a
fairly standard treatment plan for pain cases receiving acupuncture.
The image below shows some of the local points used during this case. They are said to “nourish the
joint” in Chinese medicine meaning they improve blood circulation to promote healing.