Homeopathic Remedies for Bursitis
Also indexed as: Housemaid’s Knee, Inflammation (Bursa),
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 Is Homeopathy?
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
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
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
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 time.
Homeopathy Dosage Directions
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.
Many homeopathic 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 sufficient.
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 Homeopathic Potencies.