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A Dietary Guide for Bursitis Sufferers

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If you are suffering from Bursitis, avoid THESE three foods to help reduce inflammation.

Living with the pain of bursitis can significantly limit the ability to participate in physical activities and often leads to a reduction in quality of life. While there are treatment options that involve drugs or surgery, some people can control their bursitis through a simple, natural change in diet.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac cushioning joints, becomes irritated. Most people experience this inflammation due to age or repetitive use of the affected joint throughout the day. For example, people who walk for long periods of time during their work day may develop bursitis in the knees.

The two complications that arise as a result of bursitis are pain and a limit in the range of motion. Serious cases of bursitis can make it difficult for people to participate in normal daily activities.

Treatment Options for Bursitis

When bursitis is caused by repetitive motion that places stress on a joint and inflames the bursa sac, rest is often recommended. However, people who suffer from bursitis because of age or an action that must be performed on a regular basis for work are often unable to find relief through rest.

Ice and anti-inflammatory medications that can be purchased over-the-counter may be used for mild cases of bursitis. More serious cases of the condition can be treated by prescription medication or injections of steroids, but side effects of steroid injections can cause undesirable complications for sufferers.

Physical therapy is a method of treating bursitis without using medication. It can also be used in conjunction with medication for more serious cases of bursitis, and some cases that do not respond to any form of traditional treatment will require surgery.

Dietary Guide for Bursitis Infographic

Avoid These Foods

Wanting to avoid harsh medical treatments that could be prescribed for bursitis is an understandable goal, and choosing to alter one's diet is a method of controlling bursitis that has been proven to be effective.

Familiarize yourself with the types of foods that should be avoided in order to give yourself the best chance of controlling bursitis through a change in diet.


The specific type of protein that makes up legumes should be avoided by anyone dealing with inflammation in the joints because it cannot be properly digested by the human body. When this protein is inadequately broken down by the digestive enzymes in the body, an inflammatory response results. 

Unlike some other types of foods, cooking legumes will not make them any easier to digest. Avoid beans, peanuts, soybeans, hummus and other legumes to reduce inflammation.

Simple Carbohydrates

Whole grains and high-fiber carbohydrates can be part of a healthy diet for people who suffer from bursitis, but take care when choosing bread or starchy vegetables. Refined starches that have been processed in a way that strips them of their nutritional value are common in the store because they have a longer shelf life and are more popular among consumers. However, these high-glycemic foods cause a spike in blood sugar that can even cause inflammation and lead to bursitis.

Not only do refined carbohydrates contribute to inflammation, but the failure of refined carbohydrates to keep a person feeling full after they eat often leads to overeating and obesity. Carrying around extra weight means that stress is put on the joints, and people who are overweight are at risk of developing bursitis.

Added Sugars

Like refined carbohydrates, added sugars cause a spike in blood sugar that can cause inflammation or make it worse. Baked goods, candies, and soft drinks are all known to have added sugars, but there may be added sugars in other foods that would not be thought to have unhealthy additives. 

Processed foods often utilize some type of sugar as a type of preservative, so learn to spot sugar by its many names in ingredient lists. Other names for sugar include beet sugar, cane sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, maltodextrin, and sorbitol. Remember that natural types of sugar like raw sugar or cane sugar still have negative effects on the human body.

Some foods contain vitamins and minerals that can reduce inflammation and make bursitis more manageable. 

Vitamins That Help Bursitis

Vitamin B

Cell damage can make bursitis worse, so it is important to make sure that a diet includes vitamins that can help repair cell damage. Vitamin B is an ideal solution and can be found in foods that provide other health benefits as well.

Broccoli and spinach are known to have high quantities of vitamin B. Bananas are an ideal snack that provides vitamin B for people who are living with the pain and inflammation of bursitis.

Vitamin C

People who may not have developed bursitis can eat a diet rich in vitamin C to strengthen the bursa sac and prevent the development of bursitis. The antioxidants in foods with high levels of vitamin C protect the bursa sac and help prevent inflammation or infection in this fluid-filled sac.

Healthy foods that provide a high amount of vitamin C include strawberries, kiwi, and oranges.

Vitamin E

As with vitamin B, vitamin E protects against cell damage. Antioxidants are also present in foods with vitamin E, and most leafy greens contain a healthy dose of the vitamin.


Some fruits and vegetables contain different enzymes that are able to reduce or prevent inflammation in the human body. For example, pineapple contains an anti-inflammatory enzyme known as bromelain. Papaya contains an enzyme known as papain that is used as a meat tenderizer and can reduce inflammation.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, healthy oils, some types of nuts and certain types of eggs. These fatty acids are thought to be necessary for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and the health benefits that can be enjoyed through the consumption of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids help with inflammation issues.

The vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help with bursitis can be taken as a multi-vitamin or in a tablet form, but studies suggest that the highest number of health benefits can be enjoyed through the consumption of foods containing these substances. The absorption of vitamins, minerals, and certain enzymes is boosted by eating foods instead of taking a supplement.





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