Bursitis affects about eight million Americans. It is a painful condition that seems to affect those over the age of 45.
Bursitis is caused by the inflammation of your bursae. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that lubricate and cushion pressure spots in your bones, tendons, and muscles of your joints. The condition usually results from a repetitive motion in a joint or excessive pressure on the joint. This can be something as simple as resting on an elbow or knee for long periods of time, or the repeated bending of a joint. Swelling, redness, a dull ache, and stiffness can all result.
Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what brings on a bursitis attack. But what you do know is that it hurts. The good news is, bursitis is treatable. Here are three home remedies you can turn to the next time inflammation causes you pain.
1) Take a rest; simple advice, but surprisingly effective when it comes to treating bursitis. The next time you notice pain while doing a particular activity, take a break. Don’t perform that action until your bursitis pain has gone away and stays away. This doesn’t mean you have to stop all movement. Just try to avoid the particular motion that seems to bring on an attack.
2) Treat the affected area with ice. Since bursitis is primarily an inflammatory condition, ice can help to bring down swelling. Ice helps to do this by slowing down blood flow to the area. Try applying an ice pack to the affected joint for about 20 minutes, three or four times a day. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect your skin. If you elevate the joint above your heart, this will also help reduce swelling.
3) Find a new position. If you notice a flare-up in your elbows every time you lean on them to read a book, for example, find a way to accomplish the same task in a different position. Use a book holder to prop up your reading material. If you have bursitis in your heel, change the way your foot rests on the ground by buying well- supported, orthotic inserts.
If your bursitis causes very red, hot skin and extreme pain, you may also have a bacterial infection. Make sure you talk to your doctor if you have any concerns at all about your symptoms.