Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac that helps reduce friction in the joints). It is a common condition, with more than 3 million cases treated in the U.S. each year. Bursitis occurs most often in the shoulder, elbow, or hips; but sometimes affects the knees. There are over 150 bursae in the body to cushion joints, and any of them can be affected. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling of the affected joint. Anyone can get bursitis, but it is more common in the middle-aged and elderly, those with occupations that put a strain on their joints, athletes, and people with inactive lifestyles.
Bursitis can be caused by injury, repetitive movements, Gout, and arthritis. Sometimes it can be caused by an infection. When a fever accompanies bursitis symptoms, the condition should be checked by a doctor. Bursitis cannot always be prevented, but there are ways you can help eliminate flare-ups that cause pain. Treatment and prevention of flare-ups relieve the discomfort associated with bursitis. The following tips can help to prevent bursitis pain.
Bursae act as cushions between the bones and muscles. Tight muscles press against inflamed bursa increasing bursitis pain. Stretching the muscles on top of the bursae can help. Regular stretching exercises help increase flexibility and maintain healthy mobility. Stretching can help patients move on to physical therapy and strength exercises.
A regular weekly routine should be established to prevent bursitis flare-ups. It is important to choose a reasonable plan that can be followed several times a week. Exercise that takes too much time or effort will be less likely to be continued. Stretching routines can be combined with strength training or other exercises.
Exercise is helpful to relieve joint pain, but some exercises can cause strain. If pain is experienced while participating in a certain exercise, it might be targeting the wrong area. Vary between different types of exercise and rest occasionally to avoid repetitive movements. Irritation after exercise that lasts for days is a warning that a routine change is needed.
It is important not to overwork joints when they are already inflamed. Acute inflammation can be relieved with medication, rest, and light exercise to improve joint mechanics. As the pain subsides, exercise can be increased.
Hips and knees are the body's largest joints. If your feet do not properly support these joints, they can drift out of alignment. Improper foot placement can create posture and gait problems, putting stress on other joints.
Hip and knee pain can be decreased by wearing shoes that properly support your feet. Some factors to look for include:
Building strength in the muscles that surround your joints can help you avoid flare-ups. Stronger muscles can repair improper alignment of joints and help avoid stress on injured joints. Physical therapy can improve awareness of proper joint motion and teach alternate movements that do not increase inflammation.
Building strength in core and thigh muscles can remove stress from hip and knee joints. Stronger muscles can absorb impact from exercise and other jarring motions. A strong core naturally reduces stress from all joints throughout the body.
Bursitis is an inflammation-related condition. Some foods contribute to inflammation. Choosing foods that help eliminate total inflammation can relieve bursitis pain. Adding foods with anti-inflammatory benefits can help prevent flare-ups. Some foods that reduce inflammation include:
Some foods cause increased inflammation. Packaged processed baked goods, snacks, and fast foods often contain a high amount of Omega-6 fatty acids which increase inflammation. Packaged deli meats and red meat should also be limited. A proper diet can aid weight loss and increase muscle building properties which also helps eliminate bursitis pain and flare-ups.
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