Have you been experiencing tenderness around on your joints on pressing them with your fingers? Do you feel a sharp pain in moving your joints? Have you recently observed signs of redness or inflammation around your joint areas? If you answered in affirmative then it is most likely that you are suffering from a condition known as bursitis. It is most commonly seen in adults, mainly in the age group of 40 and above. To your utter relief, there are various home remedies to treat bursitis that will put an end to your pain.
What Is Bursitis?
Bursitis is a condition in which there is wear and tear of the various joints of the body either simultaneously or one at a time. A process called inflammation occur which causes irritation of the bursa. The irritation of these fluid-filled sacs is painful for the individual, the pain being severe and stinging in nature.
What Are Bursae?
Bursae (the plural of bursa) are small sacs of synovial fluid present between joints, tissues, tendons and the muscles. The function of this fluid is to provide lubrication and to reduce friction which is produced due to movements of joints. The bursae are like pads which sustain or withstand pressure exerted on your joints.
Your body contains over 160 bursae and acts as cushions between your joints, bones and muscles. These are located next to the lining of synovial cells which secrete synovial fluid. This aids in lubricating your joint to ensure smooth movements.
What Is Synovial Fluid?
The bursae are lined by special types of cells which produce a fluid that accumulates in the synovial cavity which is present between the joints. This fluid provides lubrication between two joints and allows easy movement. The presence of this fluid ensures that friction is minimized and the joints are protected from any form of wear and tear.
What Is A Synovial Joint?
A joint serves as a junction for two or more bones. A joint’s sole purpose is to provide movement and mechanical support. There are various types of joints in the body and one of the main ones is the synovial joints. The synovial joints present in your body are listed as follows:
- Hinge joints
- Pivot joints
- Gliding joints
- Saddle joints
- Condyloid joints
- Ball and socket joints
- Compound joints
The characteristic feature of the synovial joint is the synovial cavity which contains the synovial fluid. This fluid resists friction and provides easy movement.
Which sites are affected by bursitis?
Bursitis affects various joints of the body but it commonly affects the joints which perform repetitive movements or motion. The joints involved are:
What Are The Causes Of Bursitis?
The causes of bursitis are listed as follows:
- Increasing age – As you age, your tendons become more prone to wear and tear. The elasticity begins to diminish hence making them less capable of withstanding pressure or stress.
- Sudden injury – Accidents or trauma may cause the bursa to be injured which exposes the tissues to infection causing inflammation and irritation. In most cases, the injury is a result of repetitive movements through years that gradually injures the joints as well as the surrounding tendons and muscles.
- Repetitive impact on joint area – This is the most common cause of bursitis. If your daily routine consists of repetitive movements then you are more likely to develop bursitis. Some everyday activities such as lifting weight over your head frequently or kneeling on your knees while scrubbing the floor may irritate the bursae around your joint.
- Overuse of a joint – The constant use of a specific joint may also cause wearing of the joint. When joint is used constantly in activities like gardening, playing golf, playing tennis, carpentry, painting you may injure the soft tissues in your joint leading to inflammation and infection.
- Incorrect posture and poor stretching – Sitting on a hard surface for a long duration may lead to hip bursitis. Also poor stretching before an exercise session may also lead to bursitis.
- Poorly placed joint – Abnormally placed joint such as in arthritis can also cause inflammation of bursa sac and lead to bursitis.
- Due to secondary conditions – Bursitis may occur due to some conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders, scleroderma and it may also occur due to some medications.
- Infections – A cut near the bursae may allow bacteria to enter and infect the bursae. Healthy individuals are less likely to be infected by these bacteria. Immunocompromised people, alcohol consumers and patients who are on steroid therapy are prone to get infected easily. If patient has bursitis due to infection then it is called septic bursitis. This form of bursitis is accompanied by fever with the affected region being red and inflamed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bursitis?
Bursitis is an extremely painful condition. There are numerous home remedies for bursitis available that will alleviate your pain. First things first, you need to know if your symptoms are really indicating the presence of this condition. The symptoms seen in bursitis are listed as follows:
- Pain – Pain in bursitis can be either sudden and severe or gradual and moderate in the onset. You will experience sudden and severe pain if there is accumulation of calcium crystals. Pain usually increases with movement of the joint and can be excruciating in nature.
- Swelling – Excessive swelling and redness is also a key symptom of bursitis.
- Tenderness – Tenderness is also present which can be felt without moving the joint.
- Loss of movement – Tenderness and swelling causes hindrance in movement of joints. This causes severe immobility. A condition called “frozen shoulder” or “adhesive capsulitis” may occur in the shoulder joint due to immobility which eventually leads to bursitis.
What Are The Best Home Remedies For Bursitis?
Most bursitis can be treated without consulting a doctor. You can take several steps and reduce your pain. The following 15 home remedies can be followed to counter the problem:
- Enough rest – Bursitis is an inflammation that responds well to rest. If your daily routine consists of repetitive hand movements, then you need to take a break from your work. Giving the inflamed joint rest will speed up the recovery process and will also put less strain on the infected bursae.
- Protection – The affected area can be protected by wearing pads which would resist any blow or trauma. Since the bursae are inflamed this protects the susceptible region from any form of infection.
- Elevation – Some people get relief by raising the affected area. This might help because raising the area might not pool the blood in the affected area and would decrease the inflammation.
- Use ice – Ice can be extremely helpful to reduce the swelling in the affected area and to reduce the blood flow to the area. You need to place ice pack on the inflamed joint 3 to 4 times in a day (15 minutes per application).
- Warm it – After the initial swelling has subsided a bottle of warm water can be used to increase circulation in the affected area (15 minutes per application). This is known as the cold-hot therapy in which putting ice pack is followed by hot water bottle.
- Changing lifestyle – An individual should be committed to bring a change in their lifestyle. Change should be brought to lessen the pain. If sitting on a hard surface has caused the bursitis, then the person should buy a pillow or a cushion for relief. If your knees are inflamed then you need to wear knee pads.
- Get used to the changes – If the pain and swelling has decreased and the individual can move the joint gently along with carrying out minor movements, then they should continue to do adopt the changes. This will ensure that the joint does not get frozen and useless. A physiotherapy session can also be carried out from time to time to bring the joint into some motion.
- Use a ladder – To avoid reaching overhead, a small step ladder can be used to reach for something instead of stretching your shoulders over your head.
- New shoes – If bursitis is present on the heel, then you need to buy new and comfortable shoes. These soft shoes will provide a cushion effect to the inflamed feet.
- Orange juice – Orange juice acts as an antioxidant. The juice works wonders by quickening the healing process. It also helps in maintenance and repair of the bursae.
- Use of pineapple – Pineapple is another fruit that can help in treating bursitis. Pineapples contain a certain enzyme which reduces inflammation and bursitis. All you need to do is increase the intake of pineapple in your daily diet and find yourself free the clutches of pain.
- Diet rich in glucosamine sulfate – Doctors suggest that your daily diet should consist of around 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate two to three times daily. This helps in the formation of cartilages that are found at the end of a joint. However, one of the side effects of glucosamine sulfate is the thinning of the blood. This makes it essential for you to consult your doctor beforehand.
- Herbs – Certain herbs such as boswellia and white willoware are also used because they have anti-inflammatory properties. However, you need to consult your doctor for they may have side effects.
- Losing weight – Out of the all home remedies for bursitis, losing weight is the most effective one. If you have developed bursitis in the knee joints then losing weight will help you in alleviating the pain by relieving the region from excessive stress.
- Ginger as a pain remedy – You can apply root ginger paste on to your skin directly to alleviate the pain. Also, you can also take ginger internally in the form of tea for it has proven to be an effective remedy for bursitis pain.
These home remedies to treat bursitis can be easily followed at home and may lead to a bursitis-free life. So why wait? Try out these remedies and you may be on your way to a happy and pain-free lifestyle.