Ailments & Remedies

Ailments List

Bursitis

Overview

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa. A bursa is a tiny sacs lined with synovial cells which produce and are filled with synovial fluid and which act as cushions to reduce friction between tissues of the body and bones. There are about 160 bursae in the body, of which the major ones are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. When bursitis occurs, movement upon the inflamed bursa becomes difficult and painful. Further movement perpetuates the problem, making recovery difficult.

 

Causes

The main causes of bursitis can be through injury or repetitive movement. Elbows and knees are most commonly affected. Less common causes can be as a result of infection or as a complication of certain conditions, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Bursitis of the elbow is a common complaint in golfers and tennis players, and is known as tennis elbow. Bursitis of the shoulder may occur from overuse of the shoulder joint and related muscles. Bursitis in the hips can be caused by running. Bursitis can also be caused by sudden impact such as banging your elbow against something, if the bone increases pressure upon the bursa, bursitis results.

 

If bacteria on the surface of the skin find their way into cuts and grazes and move into the bursa, the infection can also be a cause of bursitis. The immune system usually prevents this sort of infection, so septic bursitis will usually only occur in those with a weakened immune system.

 

Pre-existing health conditions can sometimes cause crystals to form inside the bursa, which irritate and cause inflammation. These conditions include gout, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.

 

Symptoms

The main symptoms of bursitis include:

  • Pain – usually a dull ache in the affected body part, which increase with movement or pressure
  • Tenderness and swelling in the affected body part
  • Loss of movement in the affected body part

 

If bursitis is caused by an infection, it is known as septic bursitis and additional symptoms would include: a high temperature and redness in the affected area which can be warm to touch. If you develop symptoms with a high temperature, medical advice should be sought. If you have symptoms without a high temperature, which still continue after two weeks, again, medical advice should be sought.

 

Diagnosis

A doctor will make the diagnosis of bursitis by examining the affected area and by asking the patient some questions about their recent activities. If a high temperature is present the doctor may take a small sample of fluid from the bursa near the affected part and test for bacteria and possibly crystals. X-ray testing can sometimes detect calcifications in the bursa when bursitis has been chronic or recurrent.

 

Further tests are required if the patient does not get better to eliminate the possibility of the symptoms being due to something else such as a broken bone or fracture, rheumatoid arthritis or a torn tendon.

 

Treatment 

Bursitis that is not infected, can be treated with ice compresses, rest and anti-inflammatory and pain orthodox medications. Sometimes treatment requires for the bursa fluid to be removed, which is known as aspiration. A needle and syringe is used for this procedure under sterile conditions. The fluid might then be sent to a laboratory for further analysis. Cortisone injections into the swollen bursa are also sometimes used to reduce the inflammation.

 

Septic bursitis is usually treated with antibiotic therapy and repeated aspirations may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac may also be necessary. After the surgical wound heals, the adjacent joints usually function normally.

 

Prevention of bursitis can be achieved by protecting the part of the body that may be most vulnerable. When doing repetitive tasks, have breaks, and warm up before exercise.

 

Advanced massage therapy is a natural treatment for non-septic bursitis; it can reduce the inflammation and increase blood supply to the tissues. Chiropractic medicine can also be beneficial, where the chiropractor will perform adjustments or manipulations with the hands, not just towards the injured joint but toward the whole body, unblocking any nerve interference and correcting any misalignment. Acupuncture can also relieve the pain of bursitis and restore function to the joint. It will address the underlying imbalance in energy, or qi that made the person susceptible to bursitis in the first place. Yoga therapy can also assist bringing the body back to a healthier state, allowing it to heal itself. Yoga can improve breathing, body posture and muscle strength.

 



Common Remedies

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