Bursitis occurs when the bursae, which are small sacs filled with fluid that act as support or cushioning for muscles, tendons, and bones surrounding the joints, are inflamed. Bursitis can be very painful and commonly develops in the elbow, hips, and shoulder. Joints that are used for repetitive motions are more susceptible to developing bursitis.
Although it can become very painful, bursitis is easily treated by resting the affected joint. With proper rest, protection against trauma and proper medication, bursitis can be cured within a week. However, recurring symptoms are common.
• Sudden pain in the affected joint
• Frozen shoulder or sudden loss of motion in the shoulder area
• Shoulder pain
• Limited movement
Bursitis commonly occurs in adult people, usually those who are 40 years above. The reason behind this is the fact that as people age, their tendons become weaker and develop less tolerance to pain. Other causes include:
• Repetitive impact or pressure on the tendons and joints
• High-risk activities especially for adults such as skiing, skydiving, contact sports, pitching, etc.
Natural Home Remedies for Bursitis
Most bursitis cases are treated without the need of a medical professional. There are various effective natural methods that you can do at home to treat and prevent bursitis.
1. Enough Rest
Bursitis response very well to proper rest. Resting the inflamed tendon, muscle, bone or joint will allow faster healing using the most natural way. Make sure to get eight hours of night sleep and avoid movements on the affected area as much as possible. If the pain is felt on the shoulder, avoid putting pressure on that area while limiting activities that can aggravate the swelling.
If needed, don’t hesitate to take a break from your work or daily activities that require constant movement from the affected area. Preventing or minimizing strain on the infected bursae will allow quicker recovery time.
Aside from proper rest, you may also need to make some changes in your lifestyle. If bursitis affects the knee area, you need to minimize activities that require more than normal movements and pressure on the knees such as sports. If you are overweight, you must immediately lose weight to minimize the pressure on your knees. Changing your poor diet of junk foods to healthier alternatives such as vegetable and fruits is a must.
2. Wear Protective Instruments
The area affected by bursitis can have added protection by wearing a support or protective instruments such as soft cloth or rubber. Doing this will minimize pain or trauma when accidental contact happens. In addition, these protective and supportive instruments will prevent further infection from the already inflamed area.
Get a clean and soft piece of cotton fabric and wrap around the affected area. Make sure not to wrap too tight to prevent further pain and inflammation. You can also insert a soft cushioning pad to add protection and support. Avoid getting wet and remove whenever taking a bath to prevent infection.
3. Cold Therapy
Applying some cold compress to the affected area will instantly minimize pain and immediately reduce swelling and inflammation. The cold will also reduce blood flow to the area affected bursitis.
Fill a compress bag with cold water and directly apply on the affected area. Remove the bag after a few seconds, and reapply. Doing intervals will allow the cooling effect to penetrate skin pores while also preventing damage to the skin caused by extreme cold. Do these steps for about 15 to 20 minutes per session, 3 to 4 times daily. Make sure to remove and replace with some chilled batch of water after every session to maximize the effects. You can also add cooling oils such as menthol and eucalyptus to the compress bag to get a more cooling sensation.
4. Warm Compress
The general rule is to apply a cold compress to the affected area during the initial phase of swelling or inflammation. After the pain and swelling have subsided, warm compress must follow. Doing this will allow proper circulation of blood to the affected area, which will further minimize swelling and pain. Fill a compress bag with medium hot water and apply directly to the area. Do application intervals to prevent the skin burning. Each session must be 20 to 30 minutes and must be repeated 3 to 4 times daily.
You can also use a plastic or glass bottle as a substitute for a compression bag. Using a bottle will enable you to do rolling motion or massage in the affected area. Make sure to clean and sterile the bottle before using.
5. Increase Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is packed with natural antioxidants that minimize swelling and inflammation caused by bursitis, while also promoting faster healing of the muscles, bones, tissues and tendons.
Take vitamin C supplement daily. The recommended daily consumption is 1000 mg. For people suffering from health conditions that require the additional intake of this vitamin, it is better to consult a doctor to get the proper dosage. Other great sources of vitamin C include vegetables and fruits such as orange, pineapple, and pomegranate.
To prepare as a healthy drink, get 1 fresh orange and cut into thin slices. Blend with shaved ice until in puree form. You can add 1 teaspoon of honey and few drops of lemon to increase the anti-inflammatory effect.
Aside from providing a high level of vitamin C, pineapple also contains healthy enzymes that are perfect in treating bursitis. These enzymes effectively reduce swelling and inflammation, while also promoting repair of damaged tissues.
Eat 2 to 3 slices of ripe pineapple in the morning after breakfast. You can also have a few slices as a snack or before going to bed. For more convenience, drink 1 glass of natural pineapple or orange juice drink daily. Make sure to buy brands that do not contain artificial and chemical ingredients. Also, pick brands that do not contain sugar or preservatives.
Turmeric is rich with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven to be effective against bursitis. When used or consumed regularly, turmeric is also known to increase the body’s immunity against various heath conditions.
Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a half teaspoon of lukewarm water. Add a teaspoon of baking soda and stir continuously until the paste form is achieved. Clean the affected area with a mild soap and pat dry. Apply the paste and leave it for about 30 minutes. You can cover with a gauge or soft cloth to prevent dripping or contact with other objects. Rinse in running water or remove by using a wet wipe.
To prepare as a tea, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with a cup of hot water. Add a tablespoon of honey and few drops of lemon. You can also add a splash of milk. Drink in the morning during breakfast and before going to bed.
7. Elevate the Affected Area
Elevating the affected area prevents blood clot while also increasing proper blood flow. Better circulation of blood results to lesser pain and faster healing of the inflamed area.
For knee or foot pain, use 2 to 3 pillows stacked over one another to achieve elevated position. Put them on the back of the thigh area while your body is laid down. Do this for about 10 minutes or until the pain has subsided.
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