Living with bursitis can be a daily struggle… with persisting discomfort, intense sharp pains, and decreased range of mobility.

Bursitis occurs when a small fluid-filled sac near a joint is inflamed and swollen. This impedes on the bones, tendons, and muscles nearby, causing pain with certain movements. Bursitis most commonly occur in the shoulder, hip, and elbow, but can also appear in the knees, heels, and big toes.

Usually, treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and physical therapy. However, movements that aggravate the bursa, which are often work-related or daily movements, can prolong recovery. Recovery times are already on average around 6-10 weeks and can stretch to 6 months or longer. Flare-ups are common if strengthening and stretching exercises are not implemented in weekly routines.

When certain movements are painful, other muscles may compensate, causing tightness or pain in other parts of your body. We work to aid recovery in order to prevent such compensation.

Often, people will have to take a break from doing the things they love while they heal.

Whether it be work, sport, or even something as simple as walking.

Acupuncture can be very helpful in speeding up the healing process. To target bursitis, acupuncture focuses on

  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Improving blood flow in the area
  • Softening tight muscles around the joint that may be irritating the bursa
  • Desensitising pain signals
  • Offering mental relief, as constant pain can take a toll.

As a whole-body medicine, I’ll also look at any underlying imbalances such as poor circulation, high levels of inflammation, presence of “cold” or “heat” in certain areas of the body, or a lack of fluids and nutrients reaching the target area.

In treatments, I may share gentle exercises to assist blood flow in the area, anti-inflammatory foods, posture-correcting positions, sleep positions, and more.

Michelle McNeill
Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine


Want some support for your bursitis? Book an appointment with Michelle today!

Published on June 12, 2024