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Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac located within a joint to provide joint lubrication.


This page explores the causes and complications of bursitis and offers a range of natural remedies to ease aches and pains.

About bursitis

This inflammation can cause severe pain during movement.  Shoulders, elbows, knees and Achilles' tendons are most vulnerable.  

Bursitis often involves tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons) as well.

Typical inflammation symptoms include redness, heat, swelling and tenderness (mild to severe).

Even with rest, healing often takes longer than two weeks.

Causes of bursitis

An injury or repetitive movement such as jogging, typing or working on an assembly line, are frequently to blame for bursitis. It also often occurs with arthritis or as a result of calcium deposits causing friction. 

Acidity is an important factor in the development of bursitis. Acid forming foods tend to bind to the alkaline minerals essential for the bones (such as calcium and magnesium), rendering them unusable by the body.

When bones and cartilage no longer receive the necessary nutrients, they become fragile and brittle. Furthermore, the acids from food have a tendency to accumulate in the joints, exacerbating inflammation. Stress contributes to acidify the body while excess weight can aggravate the situation.

Diet - Moderate your intake of these uric acid forming foods:

  • Caffeine
  • Meat 
  • Prepared foods (especially white flour, white sugar, colorants and additives) 
  • Animal fats 
  • Dairy products 
  • Eggs 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Potatoes 
  • Bell peppers 
  • Alcohol 
  • Soft drinks 
  • Salt

Diet - Increase your intake of these alkaline foods:

  • Vegetables (especially the green ones)
  • Cold pressed vegetable oils
  • Whole grains (brown rice, millet, buckwheat, kamut®, spelt, oat…)
  • Kidney beans
  • Dry fruits (figs, raisins, apricots…)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame…) 
  • Certain fruits: golden delicious apples, pineapple, papaya, mango, guava, blueberries, blackberries, cherries
  • Fatty fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna and sardines) 

Water is an essential element for healthy joints. Everybody should drink half their weight (lbs.) in ounces of water a day (32 ounces = 1 liter), to ensure that the joints do not get dehydrated or the bones more brittle.  Water is an important medium to help transport the acids out of the body through the kidneys.

Lifestyle changes for bursitis

To help eliminate acids it is important to adapt your lifestyle. Try to integrate 20 minutes of low impact exercise to your daily routine (especially stretching, walking and swimming). When in pain, keep on moving! Otherwise joint stiffness will settle in and the condition will get worse. Sports that have high or repetitive impact should be avoided. 

It is crucial to learn to manage your stress: stress slows down the immune system, which, in turn, impedes the healing process. Supplements and remedies Fat fishes such as herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna and sardines contain high levels of Omega 3. These fats have an anti-inflammatory action on the joints. If you do not eat that kind of fish regularly VegOmega-3 is a good alternative as it can help regulate your body’s eicosapentaenoic acid (aka EPA) production, which reduces inflammation. For best results, moderate your alcohol and coffee consumption.

Natural remedies for bursitis

Glucosamine is highly recommended when there is damage to the cartilage, since our body uses it to build ligaments and cartilage. It can take about 3 months to get a fair improvement. It works better when combined to a strong anti-inflammatory such as devil’s claw or arnica. The easiest glucosamine to assimilate is HCl and not glucosamine sulphate. The latter may contain salt (sodium), which is not recommended for people with high blood pressure. 

Stinging Nettle is a cleansing plant. It is a blood tonic that brings nutriments to the cells while eliminating toxins. It is especially effective when there is a tendency for acid accumulation like in most cases of arthritis and osteoarthritis. Since it eliminates uric acids, it is also very helpful for gout. Stinging Nettle contains a lot of silica, a mineral that is very useful in the regeneration of conjunctive tissues. It then helps with damage to the ligaments, tendons and cartilage. It can be used long term. In cases of bursitis, stinging nettle can even help prevent calcium deposit and the formation of spurs thanks to its high silica content.

Calcium Absorber (Urticalcin) promotes the assimilation of calcium and silica from supplements and foods. It is highly recommended for those who tend to have calcium deposits in the joints since it helps reverse the process. Calcium Absorber allows a redistribution of calcium where it is needed. Beware of calcium supplements since some types of calcium deposit more easily in joints. You should avoid calcium carbonate and favor calcium citrate or hydroxyapatite since the body seems able to handle them more efficiently. Always take magnesium along with calcium to maintain the equilibrium between these two minerals. Magnesium will make sure the calcium does not deposit in the joints and can even dissolve most deposits. 

When suffering from bursitis you should never take more than 600 mg of calcium a day. 

A.Vogel Joint Pain Relief is composed of devil’s claw, a plant that works at different levels of the inflammatory process. Researches show that devil’s claw effect on inflammation is equivalent to any conventional anti-inflammatory without the side effects. It is highly effective for rheumatoid arthritis since in the long term, it helps balance the immune reactions. Some conventional anti-inflammatory medications can irritate the stomach and damage the kidneys. Thanks to its detoxifying effect (essential in the treatment of arthritis), devil’s claw is beneficial to both liver and kidneys. It can be used short term or long term.

Absolüt Arnica gel is a topical arnica remedy, a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Absolüt Arnica is a phytotherapeutic gel, not a homeopathic one; it thus contains a high concentration of Arnica. This plant contains sesquiterpenes lactones that can stop the inflammatory process. Absolüt Arnica also blocks the cartilage destruction process and soothes osteoarthritis pain. A comparative study between Absolüt Arnica gel and a topical Ibuprofen gel proved that Absolüt Arnica gel is just as effective. 

Supplements help heal the body, but the right diet and putting an end to repetitive movements are essential. Good health begins with the right food.

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