If you’ve been having pain in your shoulder, elbow, or hip, there is a possibility that bursitis is to blame. Bursitis is a common type of inflammation that affects large joints, and it can make everyday activities and sports very painful for people of all ages.
Here’s an overview of bursitis, including the condition’s causes, symptoms, and natural approaches to treatment.
What Are Bursae?
Bursae are small sacs filled with fluid in the body that cushion the areas around your bones and tissues. They provide protection in the spaces between your bones, tendons, muscles, and skin. When there is too much pressure on the bursae, they can become inflamed. Although there are over 150 bursae in the human body, the ones most likely to develop bursitis are the shoulders, knees, elbows, hips, and feet.
Causes of Bursitis
Repetitive motions and body positions are the most common causes of bursitis. For example, it is common among athletes who lift weights and hit balls. People who work manual labor jobs, such as scrubbing floors or leaning on their elbows, may experience bursitis symptoms. Carpentry, gardening, and painting jobs involve activities that make a person prone to bursitis.
If you have certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, or have an injury to a joint, bursitis may form. Older people tend to get bursitis more often than younger people, but your job, hobbies, and medical conditions can expedite its onset.
Symptoms of Bursitis
The primary symptom of bursitis is limited range of motion of the affected body part. For example, if bursitis affects your shoulder, you may have difficulty raising your arm above your head. You’ll likely feel pain when you try to do so and may notice swelling in that body part. General bodily infections can lead to bursitis and cause additional symptoms, including fever, chills, and skin redness.
Natural Bursitis Treatments
To diagnose bursitis, a medical provider may recommend x-rays to check for a bone issue, an MRI to observe swollen bursae, a blood test to look for infection or a fluid sample of affected bursae. Fortunately, the most natural, affordable, and effective treatment for bursitis is just simple rest. Giving your body a break from the pressure causing the pain will give it time to heal. It may also help to apply ice and heat to the painful area, wear a splint or brace to support the body part, and try gentle stretches or yoga. Talk to your doctor about joint support supplements containing shark liver oil or shark cartilage.
In more severe and prolonged cases of bursitis, a provider may suggest a steroid injection, antibiotics, physical therapy, or surgery. Chronic bursitis is very possible in the same affected area, as bursitis is known to come and go with repeated flare-ups. If occasional or ongoing pain is getting in the way of your daily activities or the hobbies you love, it’s worth consulting a professional and rethinking the repetitive tasks you commonly do.