Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, a sac of fluid inside a joint. The result is pain, and the usual prescription is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as diclofenac or ibuprofen (also widely available without a prescription). While these NSAIDs can certainly ease the pain, not everyone tolerates them well. They can irritate the digestive tract and even cause bleeding ulcers. Bursitis can take a long time to heal. Many people want a home remedy less likely to trigger side effects.
I have bursitis in my hip. A friend said that you once published a home remedy that helped.
Another reader recently took us to task for not recommending bromelain for bursitis: “This has worked for many people we know. In just a couple days the pain is gone. Those who continued to take it for a week after that got rid of their bursitis.” The enzyme bromelain is extracted from pineapple. Many animal studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. A clinical trial on subjects with painful, arthritic hips found that bromelain (under the brand name Phlogenzym) was just as effective as the NSAID diclofenac (Voltaren).1
I read that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat bursitis. Scientists at the MD Anderson Cancer Center are investigating it for the treatment of cancer. Earlier this year Celebrex was prescribed for my hip bursitis. I contacted the company that provides the curcumin to MD Anderson and ordered some. I stopped the Celebrex, started the curcumin, and very shortly got total relief. Curcumin was more effective than Celebrex.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the yellow spice turmeric and has anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin may interact with the anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin), however, to cause bleeding.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic