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Bursitis happens when fluid sacs between joints swell and become tender. This leads to pain and problems moving the joints.

It is treated with rest, pain medicine, and physical therapy. Some people may need surgery. Natural therapies are sometimes used to help ease pain.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

Electrotherapy is likely to help ease pain in people with severe symptoms A1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Joint mobilization techniques C1, C2
  • Manual therapy B1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.




A1. Page MJ, Green S, et al. Electrotherapy modalities for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(10):CD011324.

Manual Therapy

B1. Page MJ, Green S, et al. Manual therapy and exercise for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(8):CD011275.

Joint Mobilization Techniques

C1. Zavala-González J, Pavez-Baeza F, et al. The effectiveness of joint mobilization techniques for range of motion in adult patients with primary adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Medwave. 2018 Sep 28;18(5):e7265.

C2. Noten S, Meeus M, et al. Efficacy of Different Types of Mobilization Techniques in Patients With Primary Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder: A Systematic Review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 May;97(5):815-825.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC