Inflammation of the bursa is referred to as bursitis. The bursa is a sac filled with fluid, which helps lubricate and provides cushion between the bones, muscles and tendons. When the bursa becomes inflamed or infected the collagen like fluid is affected, causing pain in the area of movement. Bursitis commonly occurs in the knee and elbow areas, but it can develop in other places like the hips, shoulders or ankles, as there are at least 160 bursae in the body. The pain and swelling that comes with bursitis is typically mild; however, it can also be severe and consistent. The inflammation can make it painful to support body pressure and certain movements. Anyone can experience bursitis, but it is typically seen in adults, especially those over 40.
What Causes Bursitis?
Anytime you persistently engage in physical activities, for everyday life or in sports, it can take a toll on the health of your joints and bones. Repetitive movement is the most probable cause for bursitis. Consistent motions or holding positions for long periods of time can irritate the bursa, which causes inflammation. Sitting on hard surfaces for long durations, excessive kneeling, throwing a ball repeatedly, or even constant exercises can cause bursitis. The other causes are mainly related to trauma incidents, but age can also play a role in bursitis.
- Excessive movement or pressure
- Infection (entering the body by injury of skin such as scrape, insect bite, or staph Infection)
- Pre-Existing conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, thyroid disease and scleroderma)
- Overuse of the body
- Constant stress of body parts or movements (overuse of the body)
- Certain sports (baseball, golf and tennis are the more common ones)
- Incorrect Posture
- Strenuous activities
- Wearing improper gear while exercising, training, running etc.
- Age (bones become more brittle as you get older, decreasing the strength and endurance of them)
It’s common for those who have bursitis to treat the condition at home with the use of natural remedies. The body is capable of healing itself as long as you give it what it needs. Eating foods like bell peppers, flax seeds, spinach, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, beets, chia seeds, walnuts, ginger and turmeric all help reduce inflammation in a short period of time. Sugar, coffee, alcohol, dairy and white flour products are foods that contribute to inflammation the most. In order for your body to heal itself, it’s best to avoid the things that cause inflammation.
Protecting the area that’s affected by bursitis is important to avoid further complications. In some cases bursitis stems from infections, so it’s best to keep it protected as best as you can. You can provide relief from bursitis by using things that provide assistance like canes, crutches, compressions, pads, and wrapping the affected area.
Ice Packs & Elevation
Ice packs are always ideal when it comes to treating issues related to bone and joint health. Cold compressors can help reduce the initial swelling and pain. It’s best to ice the body part for at least 15 minutes a day, repeating as needed. In combination with icing the affected area, elevating the body part can be beneficial because it helps promote better blood circulation.
Bath soaks can be physically therapeutic, especially for conditions like bursitis. Baths relax the muscles, helping to eliminate aches and pains. Adding sea salt, vanilla extract, essential oils like lavender and mint, or even apple cider vinegar can help soothe the body.
Any type of physical therapy can help recondition the way the bones and joints function and aid the ability to use them. Attending physical therapy can help rehabilitate the bursa. After allowing the body time to rest, it’s important for it to also remember its functions. Hydrotherapy is one the best types of physical therapy. It involves doing exercises in specific temperatures of water, using the water’s energy and therapeutic properties to help heal and recover. The pain is less intense when exercises are done in water.