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A Pain in the Hip...could it be bursitis ?

Areyou experiencing ongoing hip pain?

Definition: Bursitis

Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa (Figure 1) caused by repetitive use, trauma, infection, or even systemic inflammatory disease. Bursa are flattened sacs that serve as a protective buffer between bones and overlapping muscles (deep bursa) or between bones and tendons/skin (superficial bursa). Humans have approximately 160 bursa. Bursitis most commonly affects the subacromial (shoulder), olecranon (elbow), trochanteric (hip), prepatellar (knee), and infrapatellar (knee) bursa. Symptoms of bursitis may include localised tenderness, oedema, erythema, and/or reduced movement.

Inflammation causes synovial cells to multiply and thereby increases collagen formation and fluid production. A more permeable capillary membrane allows entrance of high protein fluid. The bursal lining may be replaced by granulation tissue followed by fibrous tissue. Haemorrhage may occur.

Cause/ Risk factors: Bursitis

  • Chronic overuse or repetitive use

  • Traumatic injury

  • Bacterial infection

  • Gout, pseudogout

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • May need to have a differential diagnosis with septic arthritis, ligamentous injury, fracture or osteoarthritis.

Signs and Symptoms: Bursitis

  • Localised pain aggravated by movement

  • Abrupt onset of pain in acute bursitis

  • Localised swelling

  • Localised tenderness

  • Erythema

  • Fever, swelling, and increased temperature of the overlying skin (septic bursitis)

Core Treatment: Bursitis

1) Assess the cause, whether:

  • Repetitive bursa irritation (from a repetitive movement or excessive pressure)

  • Traumatic injury, leading to inflammation

  • Systemic disease

2) Manage inflammation - pain, redness, swelling and promote resolution

Natural anti-inflammatories help with Acute relief of pain, swelling, flares of autoimmunity

  • High Potency Anti-inflammatory Herbs - Acute: 1 tablet every 2 hours (up to 6 tablets daily)

  • Meta Mag Magnesium Bisglycinate, Corydalis and California Poppy for Pain - 1 serve twice daily

  • Specialised Pro-Resolving Mediators[1] - 1 capsule twice daily

If pain is chronic:

  • Highly Bioavailable Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) With Endocannabinoid Action - 1 capsule twice daily

If bursitis is caused by infection

  • High Bioavailability Zinc with Vitamin C - 1 serve (1/2 scoop) daily with food

  • Cordyceps, Coriolus and Reishi for Immune Stimulation - 1 serve three times daily

Antimicrobial to address systemic or unidentified infection:

  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Control - 2 capsules twice daily with food

Additional support for joint repair – optional if with other chronic joint problems

  • Gelatin Complete Joint Restore Powder - 1-2 scoops daily


  • Connective Tissue Maintenance - 1-2 tablets three times daily

Management of chronic systemic inflammation

  • Metagenics Clinical Detoxification Program


  • Wellness and Healthy Ageing Program

  • BCM– 95 Turmeric and Devil’s Claw to Treat Chronic Inflammation - 3 capsules twice daily

  • Specialised Pro-Resolving Mediators - 1 capsule twice daily

Alphabetical Reference of Nutritional Support: Bursitis

Formula Catch PhraseKey benefitsBCM– 95 Turmeric and Devil’s Claw to Treat Chronic InflammationA combination of herbs to provide powerful synergistic anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects by inhibiting RAGE, COX-2 expression, TNF-α and NFkB. This herbal combination is safe for long-term use.Connective Tissue MaintenanceA combination of nutrients to provide long term protection against joint degeneration. Contains therapeutic doses of glucosamine.Cordyceps, Coriolus and Reishi for Immune StimulationThese four clinically proven medicinal mushroom extracts have demonstrated potency to enhance immunity whilst modulating inflammation. Supports the resolution of chronic, latent and/or recurrent infectious conditions, and safe for use in autoimmune diseases, such as RAGelatin Complete Joint Restore PowderThis formula contains glucosamine, MSM and gelatin plus nutritional co-factors, is clinically trialled to help reduce pain and inflammation in conditions such as osteoarthritis, and to promote the healing of joint tissues.High Bioavailability Zinc with Vitamin CZinc and vitamin C are amongst the most critical nutrients in healthy immunity, as both are involved in wound healing, immune balance and to boost resistance to infection.Highly Bioavailable Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) With Endocannabinoid ActionPEA is a bioactive lipid that directly modulates endocannabinoid signalling, indirectly increasing cannabinoid receptor activity throughout the nervous system, including microglial cells and astrocytes, as well as receptor activity in immune cells. PEA’s actions enhance anti-neuroinflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective pathways, benefiting chronic pain, including neuropathic pain, in addition to neurodegenerative conditions.High Potency Anti-inflammatory HerbsPowerful anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients, including BCM-95 turmeric, BosPure boswellia, willow bark, ginger and quercetin are designed to rapidly reduce acute inflammation.Meta Mag Magnesium Bisglycinate, Corydalis and California Poppy for PainA magnesium and herbal formula for acute or chronic pain management. Magnesium has been shown to block glutamate via inhibition of the NMDA receptor, thereby reducing excitatory neurotransmission. Corydalis is an effective analgesic in both inflammatory and neuropathic pain.Small Intestinal Bacterial ControlA combination of phellodendron with potent essential oils targets overgrowth of flora in the small intestines, which is associated with chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and systemic inflammation.Specialised Pro-Resolving MediatorsSPMs are lipid mediators that promote resolution, reduce pain, encourage clearance of pathogens and mitigate pathological inflammation, without immunosuppression. SPMs regulate macrophage polarisation; triggering the switch from M1 (proinflammatory) to the M2 (anti-inflammatory) phenotype, therefore promoting resolution.

Diet, Lifestyle and Specific Natural Treatments: Bursitis

Diet and Lifestyle

  • Avoid HARM factors: Heat, Alcohol, Running (or exercise), Massage (contraindicated with bursitis)

  • In acute situations, apply ice pack for 20-30 minutes.

  • Chiropractic, osteopathy or physiotherapy helps with the assessment management and treatment of bursitis.

  • Massage is contraindicated in septic bursitis. Otherwise, massage (especially myofascial release therapy) can be used for general relaxation and to reduce discomfort from holding patterns secondary to pain and compensating for an injured part.

  • Most acute and chronic bursitis can be prevented by avoiding overuse of the joint, by resting between periods of activity, and by adequately warming up and stretching before strenuous activity.


  • Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in the diet including saturated fats (meats, especially poultry, and dairy), refined foods, and sugar.

  • A small percentage of people respond dramatically to a diet free of nightshades. They include peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and white potatoes. A month-long trial is recommended.

  • Emphasise foods high in essential fatty acids such as oily fish and nuts / seeds

Supportive Lifestyle Programs: Bursitis

Supportive Lifestyle ProgramDescription

Metagenics Clinical Detoxification Program

Neurological and gut health is highly dependent on effective liver and bowel detoxification and clearance of endogenous and environmental toxins. The Metagenics Clinical Detoxification Programs are designed to address the primary source of toxicity in patients, and encourage elimination of and protection against these toxins. A questionnaire is available for patients to complete which assist the Practitioner in determining the most appropriate program. There are three programs available:

  • Health Reset

  • Gut Pathogen Elimination

  • Liver Chemical Clearance

Wellness and Healthy Ageing Program

Recommending a low glycaemic, alkalising diet with lifestyle with exercise and effective stress management, are all factors associated with healthy musculoskeletal function and disease prevention. Scientifically shown to improve health, quality of life and to reduce the biomarkers associated with ageing.

Chronic bursitis:

  • This is an individual decision to be discussed with your GP....Repeated corticosteroid injections with physical therapy to restore joint function


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents -- Most commonly used for relief of mild to moderately severe pain. Although pain-relieving effects tend to be patient specific, ibuprofen is usually used for initial therapy.

Antibiotics -- Therapy must cover all likely pathogens in the context of the clinical setting

Corticosteroids -- These agents have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Footnotes: Bursitis

[1] Ensuring patients maintain an omega 3 index above 8% is essential to SPM production. Omega-3 status can be evaluated/monitored using the Omega-3 Index Test (refer to pathology testing section). In the instance of deficiency, consider co-prescribing an omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement.


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