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Golf swing got you wincing in pain? Weeds growing because you can’t kneel to pick them anymore? Putting off painting that room because it hurts too much?

When your day-to-day activities put stress on your joints, you can feel the pain of bursitis. Your favorite hobbies might not be so much fun anymore. And household jobs can be so painful you just can’t keep up. The pain can be sudden and sharp or build up over time and limit your range of motion.

That’s no way to live. Our orthopaedic specialists and rheumatologists can help you find relief from bursitis and provide tips on how to prevent the condition from coming back. We want to help you get back to living your life as pain-free as possible.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Bursitis Care?

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Demonstrated expertise:

At Cleveland Clinic, our specialists are experts at caring for patients with anything from common musculoskeletal issues to the most complicated bone, joint or connective tissue disorders. Meet our team.

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Caring approach:

Our specialists work as a team to provide the most comprehensive and personalized care. Our team includes orthopaedic medicine specialists, surgeons and oncologists, sports health specialists and therapists, musculoskeletal radiologists, rheumatologists, physician assistants and physical therapists.

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Trusted experts:

We’ll explain to you exactly what bursitis is and what your treatment options are. At Cleveland Clinic, we take time to talk about your condition with you and answer any questions you have. We want you to understand your condition so you can take an active role in your care.

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Innovation and research:

Our ongoing research lets us offer you the latest and most advanced treatment options, including minimally invasive, tissue-sparing and robotic-assisted procedures. We also offer customized prosthesis and work with you to find something matches what you need.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

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Virtual Visits:

We offer both in-person and virtual visits. This convenient and secure option allows you to talk to your provider from your smartphone, tablet or computer without needing to travel. 

Bursitis Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic

You don’t have to live with the pain you’re experiencing. You deserve to do the things you love. You know when something isn’t feeling right, and we will take the time to hear about your concerns. Your care will start with a conversation. Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and will want to know what symptoms you’re having. You’ll have a physical exam, which is often enough for a diagnosis. If your provider is concerned an infection or another condition is causing your bursitis, you might need one or more of these imaging tests:

  • X-ray: Bursitis won’t show up on an X-ray, but other conditions that could be causing your bursitis might. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI uses magnetic waves instead of X-rays to show detailed pictures inside your body. If you have bursitis, the swollen bursae will show up on an MRI.
  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasound: This special ultrasound uses sound waves to show fluid in swollen bursae. 
  • Aspiration: If infection is suspected, your provider may order a blood test or take a sample of the fluid in your bursae by inserting a needle into the infected area, draining some of the fluid and sending it to the lab for analysis.  


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Florida and London.

Bursitis Treatment at Cleveland Clinic

Sometimes it’s hard to put down the things you love, even if it’s for a little while. But the best treatment for bursitis often is rest. You’ll also want to avoid repeated movements or activities that irritated the bursae. Your provider might also recommend the following self-care treatments you can do at home:

  • Propping up the injured area when you’re resting, so it’s above your heart. 
  • Ice the area if a sudden injury (not repeated movements) caused the pain.
  • Apply heat to ongoing pain.
  • Use a splint, sling or brace to keep the injured area from moving. 
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®), to relieve pain and swelling. 

Sometimes you might need more. Your provider might recommend:

  • Antibiotics if you have an infection.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Steroid injection to quickly decrease inflammation and pain.
  • Surgery to remove the chronically inflamed bursae if other treatments don’t work after six months to a year.

Taking the Next Step

Bursitis is a common complaint for people who have jobs or enjoy hobbies where they repeat certain motions over and over. Poor posture can also be at the root of the issue. Most cases of bursitis improve on their own with rest and self-care. If your pain sticks around or you develop a fever or redness, swelling or warmth in the injured area, it’s important to call your healthcare provider to make sure you haven’t developed an infection or another condition. Painful joints shouldn’t get in the way of your life. Your provider will be able to help you manage the pain and get back to doing what you love. 

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic bursitis experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic bursitis experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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