You went to the backyard to turn over your garden. You liked the fresh air because it smelt sweet, and so you pulled weed all afternoon. As you headed inside in the evening, after a fulfilling job in the garden, you felt an unfamiliar pain in your shoulder. The dull ache became a little more intense, and you were afraid that you might be getting arthritis. But you don’t have arthritis; you are most probably suffering from bursitis, which is a different ball game entirely. You can easily battle this condition with natural remedies for bursitis.
Table of Contents
In this post, you will learn about:
What is Bursitis?
The human body contains about 160 little fluid-sacs known as bursae. Each bursa plays the role of a pressure-relieving cushion between your tendons, bones, muscles, and joints and is supported by synovial cells that produce a lubricant responsible for reducing friction. Because of this lubrication, your bones, joints, muscles, and tendons move smoothly and efficiently.
However, when a bursa is damaged or injured, the tissue inside it is inflamed. And when that happens, the affected area can become quite painful when you put pressure on it or move it. The condition is known as bursitis, and it is often a result of tendon, muscle, or joint overuse – especially when you make frequent physical repetitive movements.
Types of Bursitis
Although hundreds of bursa exist all around your body, some areas could be problematic. Below are the five common types of bursitis and the symptoms that come with each of them.
This is one of the unfortunate results of dusting all the furniture in the house, cleaning windows, washing and waxing the car, working long hours in the garden, etc. All these activities may result in an inflamed shoulder due to the frequent pressure on the joints and bones. It is difficult to sleep on your side when you suffer from sub-deltoid bursitis, and moving your arm can be extremely painful.
Another common kind of bursitis is associated with the bursa around the hip bone. When you move your hand along the side of your leg, you can feel a bony knob that sticks from the hip bone (the trochanter of the femur bone). This bursa lubricates the skin and muscles that pass over this knob. Among other things, an exercise class or a long walk after a sedentary winter can inflame this bursa. Trochanteric bursitis makes it challenging to walk. It also makes sleeping on the side quite painful. The pain from trochanteric bursitis is often confused with sciatic nerve pain.
The elbow is also susceptible to bursitis challenges. Even though olecranon pain is not as joint as trochanteric and sub-deltoid bursitis, it can make you appear like you have a golf ball under your skin.
The knee has a lot of bursae. The kind of bursitis that affects the knee is often called “housemaid’s knee” – the name is generated from constantly kneeling from scrubbing floors. Nowadays, though, most people mop their floor, making the original name “housemaid’s knee” go obsolete, pre-patellar bursitis is common among people who lay carpets. It is also common among gardeners who spend long hours gardening on their knees.
This type of bursitis often affects people who wear high heel shoes. Too tight or too large shoes can result in excessive rubbing or pressure on the bursa around the area, ultimately triggering bursitis in the process.
Causes of Bursitis
Any injury or repetitive movement such as typing, jogging, or working on an assembly line is often responsible for bursitis. It also often surfaces alongside arthritis or calcium deposits that result in friction, especially in the shoulders.
Acidity plays a significant role in the development of bursitis. Acid-forming foods often bind with the alkaline minerals essential for the development of the bones (such as magnesium and calcium), making them unusable for the body.
When the cartilage and bones no longer get the nutrients they need, they become brittle and fragile. In addition, the acids from food can accumulate in the joints, thereby worsening inflammation in the process. Stress is partially responsible for acidifying the body, while excessive weight can exacerbate the situation. To prevent the risk of getting attacked by bursitis or the possibility of seeking natural remedies for bursitis, you need to avoid some things and encourage some others.
Moderate your intake of these uric acid-forming foods:
- Soft drink
- Prepared food (most especially white sugar, white flour, additives, and colorants)
- Animal fats
- Bell pepper
- Dairy products
- Citrus fruits
Increase your intake of these alkaline foods:
- Fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, and salmon)
- Vegetables (dark green ones are excellent)
- Certain fruits: cherries, delicious golden apples, blackberries, pineapple, blueberries, papaya, guava, mango
- Cold-pressed vegetable oils
- Seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower)
- Whole grains (millet, brown rice, Kamut, buckwheat, oat, spelt)
- Dry fruits (apricots, raisins, figs)
- Kidney beans
Water is also vital for the development of healthy joints. Everybody is advised to drink half their weight in ounces of water every day to ensure that the joints are not dehydrated or the bones become more brittle. In addition, water is critical in helping to transport the acids from food out of the body through the kidneys.
Symptoms of Bursitis
In most cases, bursitis can last for a few weeks or several months, depending on the level of severity. However, if the bursitis is untreated, it can stay for even as long as a year. And once there is a decrease in bursitis symptoms, you should not stop taking care of the affected part to prevent a relapse or flare-ups.
The most common symptoms associated with bursitis include the following:
- Tenderness in the knees, hips, heels, wrists, shoulders, or elbows
- Tenderness when you press the affected area
- Discomfort in some muscles and bones of the body
- The affected area looking puffy, red, or swollen
- Trouble carrying out everyday activities like showering, exercising, getting dressed, carrying objects, walking, or showering
- Feeling stiff or achy
- Having difficulty sleeping due to discomfort and pain
Most bursitis symptoms do not become dangerous or very severe. Still, it is bursitis in some people that can progress to the level of complications, and natural remedies for bursitis may not tackle them.
If you experience any of the symptoms that will be further described below, and the intense pain associated with it has gone for more than two to three weeks, then it is strongly advised that you consult your doctor as soon as possible. Those pains can be a sign of excessive inflammation around the joints and bones.
Such bursitis symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:
- loss of appetite, fatigue, and dizziness
- disabling joint pain that prevents you from moving
- high amount of swelling, bruising, hear, rash, or redness in the affected area
- sharp and sudden shooting pains
Natural Remedies for Bursitis
Using ice packs, taking over-the-counter painkillers, and resting are some of the recommended general health remedies for bursitis. And they are especially when the condition is still in the mild stage. Unfortunately, there are no natural remedies for bursitis with strong scientific backing. However, those mentioned in this article are pretty effective. As a matter of fact, there are natural ingredients that will save you faster than any medical procedure.
Some of the best natural remedies for bursitis are listed below:
Fans of curry will know the taste and color of turmeric, which belongs in the Zingiberaceae plant family. Turmeric is also widely used in the Indian herbal medicine system known as Ayurveda. In addition, turmeric is often recommended for every inflammatory condition. Some evidence has shown that this plant may have painkilling properties since Zingiberaceae extracts are very effective hypoalgesic agents.
2. Fish Oil
High-strength fish supplements contain significant levels of the Omega-3 essential acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – these two have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Like fish oil supplements, DHA and EPA are also present in oily fish such as sardines, herring, salmon, pilchards, mackerel, and fresh tuna.
Vegetarians and vegans can still benefit from the omega-3 supplement.
3. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is a cleansing plant. It is a blood tonic that cats as the conveyor of nourishment to the cell while getting rid of toxins. It is effective when there is a tendency for the accumulation of acid, such as it is in the case of osteoarthritis and arthritis. Since stinging nettle eliminates uric acids, it is essential for treating gout. Stinging nettle has a lot of Silica. Silica is a mineral very useful in the regeneration of conjunctive tissues. It then assists with damage to the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. You can use the stinging nettle for a long time. In the case of bursitis, stinging nettle can even assist in preventing calcium deposit and formation of a spur.
4. Castor Oil Pack
Castor oil is one of the most effective natural remedies for bursitis. Many of us know that castor oil is quite effective for constipation, so many healers worldwide have treated several health conditions (such as bursitis) by using castor oil. One of the most efficient, effective, and economical methods of delivering the healing component of the oil directly into the body tissue is by making use of a castor oil pack.
To make a pack, you will need the following:
- Cold-pressed castor oil (about one-half cup)
- Standard heating pad
- Plastic garbage bag
- Two or three one-foot square pieces of cotton or wool flannel
- A large bath towel
Place the heating pad on a plain surface, turn the setting to high, then place the plastic bag on top of the pad. Afterward, soak the flannel materials with castor oil and put them on top of the pad and bag. The next step is to place the entire pack against your skin, with the wet flannel directly on the area where you feel the pain. Finally, to keep the oil from getting on surrounding surfaces and hold the pack in place, wrap the body in a large bath towel.
The pack should remain in the spot for at least an hour. And the temperature of the heating pad should be maintained at the most tolerable. After removing the pad, massage the remaining oil into the skin. You can choose to clean it off using a little soda water made from little warm water and not more than two tablespoons of baking soda. If you intend to reuse the flannel, you can store it in a plastic container or a zippered freezer bag and place it in a refrigerator. When you are ready to use it again, allow it to warm up and add another 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls of oil (You should use a new flannel after a month of using the old one).
Ice is crucial when you are dealing with swelling. The ice reduces swelling by slowing down blood flow to the area. Place an ice pack on the site affected for about twenty minutes (you can make it forty minutes or an hour if your bursitis is deep in the joint) three or four times each day. Protect the rest of your kin by putting a cloth or towel between the ice pack and the rest of your skin. Raising the joint above your heart will also help in reducing the problem of swelling.
Do not carelessly label your joint pain as bursitis without making proper findings. If your condition is still the same after practicing the natural remedies for bursitis, or if the pain is interfering with your sleep or everyday activities, then there is a problem. In addition, various other conditions can give the same symptoms as bursitis. Therefore it is essential to be sure that you are dealing with bursitis before you begin treatment.
If self-care has not brought the swelling and the pain under control, if either has become worse, or you have lost any joint function, consult a sports medicine physician, an orthopedist, or other medical doctors with experience in treating bursitis.