Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, which is a small, fluid-filled sac which lubricates and cushions pressure points between the bones, tendons and muscles near the joints. Bursae help the joints to move with ease. Common symptoms of bursitis include a dull ache or stiffness near the elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, big toe or other joints; a worsening of pain with movement or pressure; swelling, warmth and redness in the area. Common causes of bursitis include overuse, stress and direct trauma to a joint. Bursitis may also result from an infection, arthritis or gout.
The Ayurvedic treatment of bursitis is aimed at controlling the pain and reducing the swelling and inflammation in the bursae. Medicines like Triphala-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras and Vish-Tinduk-Vati are used to control pain, swelling and inflammation. Local application on the affected parts can be done using medicines like Vishgarbha oil, Mahanarayan oil and Mahasaindhav oil. Local steam fomentation of the affected parts using decoctions like Dashmool-Qadha and Nirgundi-Qadha is also a very effective procedure for reducing pain and swelling.
For patients who do not respond to the above medicines, additional treatment is required to control the pain and swelling. In such situations, medicines like Trayodashang-Guggulu, Tapyadi-Loh and Ekang-Veer-Ras are used for prolonged periods. If the bursitis is due to an infection, medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu and Gandhak-Rasayan are used in order to treat the infection. In some refractory patients, the local application of leeches brings about a dramatic relief from pain and swelling.
With adequate treatment and rest, bursitis usually disappears within a couple of weeks. In order to prevent bursitis or its recurrence, it is advisable to engage in regular physical activity and exercise in moderation to strengthen the muscles. It is important to maintain a good posture, to avoid prolonged and repetitive tasks, and to avoid sitting still in one position for a long time.