Help I have a painful swollen joint! (Bursitis tips).

Today we will be looking at bursas, what they are, how we injure them and what to do when we have an injury.

Bursitis or an inflamed bursa usually appears as a hot swollen area that is dull and achy, it usually is aggravated by movement. The most common joints are the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.

A bursa is a fluid filled sack located between muscles, joints and tendons. They help to reduce friction between these areas by providing a gliding surface between them. These areas can become inflamed due to many causes such as:

  1. A fall or accident (trauma).
  2. Faulty movement or posture over prolonged time (microtrauma).
  3. Autoimmune disorders and medical conditions. Disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, gout,
  4. Immune deficiencies, including HIV and diabetes, can also cause bursitis.

So, what can we do about it?

Firstly, I would recommend ruling out any of the disorders and conditions by seeing a medical doctor. This is especially important if you cannot move the joint or you have a fever. They will also be able to give you advise for painkillers if you need them.

For home treatment, reducing the swelling should help. This can be done by icing the area, resting the area, or limiting the activities that aggravate it. Elevating the area will also help.

If you have tried all these and had no success, acupuncture may help. I have found the increase in blood flow and the pain relief to be beneficial.

To prevent bursitis and to stop it from coming back, make sure you maintain a healthy weight, warm up properly before physical activity, wear padding for activities that cause pressure on the joints (kneeling on a pad whilst gardening). It is also advisable to clean any cuts on knees and elbows to prevent infection. Similarly, avoid repetitive trauma to the area and repetitive motion.

Below is a pad which can be used to save your knees whilst kneeling. Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed the blog!

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