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Bursitis is painful inflammation of a
bursa (a fluid-filled sac that cushions a body site that is subject
to pressure and friction). It is most often seen in the shoulder,
but is also common in elbows, knees, hips, heels, and other areas.
The cause of bursitis is often overuse, but injury or infection may
also be involved. Homeopathic remedies often help to ease
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Arnica montana: This remedy is
especially useful when bursitis is related to traumatic injury or
strain. The affected area feels bruised and sore, and the person
tries to avoid being touched, because of pain.
Belladonna: Bursitis with a
sensation of heat and throbbing, along with intense discomfort
caused by jarring and touch, suggests a need for this remedy. The
area often is red and swollen, and the overlying skin feels hot.
Bryonia: When bursitis pain has a
stitching or tearing quality and is worse from even the slightest
motion, this remedy is a likely choice. The affected area is hot and
swollen, feeling worse from warmth.
Ferrum phosphoricum: Inflammation,
especially in the right shoulder—with pain that extends to the
wrist, or sometimes to the neck—may be soothed by this remedy.
Gentle motion and cool applications often bring relief. The
person’s face may be flushed and pinkish.
Kalmia latifolia: Pain that starts
in a higher joint (especially the hip or shoulder), and shoots or
travels downward, suggests a need for this remedy. Right shoulder
bursitis is common and extends to the elbow, wrist, or hand. Pain
and inflammation may come on suddenly, and often shift around.
Discomfort is worse from motion, worse at night, and has a neuralgic
Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy is
helpful to those who experience stiffness and pain on initial
movement, gradually improving as motion continues—although too
much motion can also aggravate the pain. Pain is often worse during
sleep and on waking in the morning. Cold, damp weather can increase
the problems, and warm applications and baths bring relief.
Ruta graveolens: If bursitis is
acute—with swelling, great stiffness, and aching pain—this
remedy may be indicated. Problems can be aggravated by stretching,
and the person often feels fatigued or weak. Cold and dampness make
things worse, and lying down to rest may help. This remedy is often
useful for bursitis after injuries.
Sanguinaria: This remedy is often
indicated for bursitis in the shoulder—especially the right
shoulder. Raising the arm is difficult, and pain can extend down the
arm if the shoulder is moved. Discomfort may be worse at night in
bed, from lying on the affected part, and also when turning over.
Flushing of the face and a tendency toward allergies or migraines
are often seen in people who need Sanguinaria.
Sulphur: This remedy may be
indicated for bursitis—especially on the left side—with
inflammation and burning pain. Symptoms will be aggravated by warmth
and bathing. A person needing Sulphur often has a slouching
posture and feels worse from standing up for extended lengths of
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
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