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Bursitis

Natural Health Solutions for Bursitis (preview)

Friday, March 17, 2006 by: Dani Veracity
Tags: bursitis, health news, Natural News


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Do you spend a lot of time on the computer? If so, do you start to feel your shoulders aching as you type up your emails, or do your hips hurt when you try to cross your legs? You might be suffering from bursitis of the shoulder joints or hips, two very common forms of bursitis for computer users.

Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, or bursa, that surrounds and protects a joint. The bursa's role is to reduce or prevent friction, but sometimes a single trauma, such as a sports injury or prolonged, repetitive activity -- such as a job -- can irritate the sac to the point of inflammation. Fortunately, even if you can't throw your computer out the window, you can prevent bursitis or, if you already suffer from this painful condition, treat it without pharmaceutical drugs.

Not only is it true that "we are we what we eat," but we are also what we do -- at least as far as our joints are concerned. As mentioned earlier, bursitis is usually caused by prolonged behavior, so what we do most often affects the condition of the joints we use for that behavior.

In fact, popular terms for different types of bursitis reflect this "you are what you do" perspective, and the names are as diverse as the more than 87 different bursas that can be affected. "Student's elbow," for example, is bursitis of the elbow that results from leaning your arm against a desk or a table, which is exactly how students spend a great deal of their time. Similarly, bursitis of the knee is commonly called "housemaid's knee" because it was originally most common in people who scrubbed floors on their hands and knees. In modern, technological times, a new form of bursitis and tendonitis called "Nintendo thumbs" has been affecting gamers since the 1990s and, due to the popularity of text messaging, doctors are now seeing it among cell phone users, as well.

Before you cancel text messaging from your cell phone plan or quit your job, rest assured that you can continue to do the strenuous or repetitive activities that commonly cause bursitis while reducing your chances of developing it yourself. The best way to do this is by getting in shape. "The stronger your muscles, the lower your risk of injuring a tendon or bursa," writes Michael Castleman, author of Blended Medicine. Additionally, good nutrition, especially adequate amounts of healing nutrients like vitamin C, both prevents and treats bursitis.

In other words, as is the case with any illness, healthy living through proper diet and exercise reduces your chance of developing bursitis, even if other factors, such as your occupation, promote it. Furthermore, while you're doing an activity that is repetitious on your upper body, such as working on a computer, regularly easing the tension in your neck and shoulders will prevent bursitis in the shoulder, as well as treat bursitis in the elbow and wrist.

If you're already experiencing joint pain, bursitis just might be the culprit. Symptoms of the condition include pain, swelling and limited mobility of the affected joint. In the knee, for example, you will feel an ache from behind the kneecap. To tell whether you have bursitis of the shoulder, Professor Ben E. Benjamin and Dr. Gale Borden give the following steps in their book, Listen to Your Pain:

  1. Stand with your arms at your sides and slowly lift your painful arm out from your side. As your arm approaches shoulder height, there should be pain.
  2. Now continue to raise your arm until it is straight up. The pain should diminish quickly as you leave shoulder height and should not hurt the rest of the way up, though it may hurt when the arm is straight up. What is occurring is that the bursa gets pinched when your arm is near shoulder height.

However, it is also important to note that sometimes tendonitis occurs at the same time as bursitis, and the two conditions are often difficult to distinguish from each other. Fortunately, they require similar treatments.

Big Pharma would like you to believe that you need expensive drugs to reduce the inflammation and pain of bursitis, but that is not the case. In fact, there are a number of natural alternative therapies that will treat bursitis as well as -- if not better than -- any prescription, and without the dangerous side effects.

This feature story continues at www.HealthRanger.com (membership required) where you will learn 17 natural health solutions for preventing or treating bursitis without drugs or surgery. Click here for details.


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