Bursitis is an inflammation of a bursa, a small structure inside every joint that helps to lubricate and cushion it.
Usually bursitis occurs in the larger joints, such as the shoulder, hip, knee, or elbow. It can happen once or can recur over time.
Without seeing your health care provider, you usually can’t easily tell the difference between bursitis and pain caused by a strain or arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms
* Pain in the joint that gets worse when you move the joint (the pain may come all at once or develop gradually over time)
* Fever and warm joint area (if an infection is present)
Include in your diet anti-inflammatory oils such as those found in cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds. The following supplements may help.
* Glucosamine sulfate (500 mg two or three times a day), for connective tissue support
* Omega-3 oils (1,000 mg two or three times a day), such as flaxseed oil, as an anti-inflammatory agent
* Vitamin C with flavonoids (250 to 500 mg two times a day), for connective tissue repair
* Proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain (250 mg twice a day), to reduce inflammation
* Flavonoids and oral digestive enzymes for inflammation
Herbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, it is important to work with your provider on getting your problem diagnosed before you start any treatment. Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts).
Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. Tinctures may be used alone or in combination as noted.
* Herbs that reduce swelling include meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), white willow (Salix alba), Jamaica dogwood (Piscidia piscipula), and turmeric (Curcuma longa). A tincture of one, or a combination of these, may be taken at 15 drops every 15 minutes up to four doses for acute pain relief, or 30 drops four times per day for general pain relief. Turmeric increases the effects of bromelain.
* For bursitis with muscle spasm, add valerian (Valeriana officinalis) .
* For chronic bursitis, add hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna).
Some of the most common remedies are listed below. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours.
* Arnica gel applied topically (to the skin) as directed gives excellent short-term pain relief.
* Arnica for bursitis occuring after an injury to the joint
* Ruta graveolons for rheumatic pains in the joint
* Bellis perennis for injury with a great deal of bruising
* Rhus toxicodendron for pain that gets better with movement
* “Traumeel” injections as an alternative to corticosteroids
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