Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. When the bursae are inflamed, irritation and pain develop in the affected joints and surrounding area. Most cases involve the elbow, knee, heel, or toe and may be acute or chronic. Various factors can cause bursitis, but repetitive movements and repeated pressure on a joint are the most common culprits. Home treatments can speed the healing process and prevent the condition from impacting one's quality of life too significantly.
For most cases of bursitis, a cold compress is the go-to fast and reliable treatment. A compress can ease inflammation and swelling and temporarily reduce the pain. Until the pain decreases, cold can also numb the area. A flexible freezer pack is a good option for this treatment, or an individual can place ice cubes in a bag, wrapped in a towel. Never apply ice directly to the skin, as it can cause frostbite.
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