Bursitis is the painful swelling of bursae. Bursae are fluid filled sacs that cushion the tendons , ligaments and muscles. When they work normally, bursae help the tendons, ligaments and muscles glide smoothly over bone and protects the joint and bones from knocks ,falls, bumps and injuries. But when the bursae are swollen, the area around them becomes very tender, red and painful.
Bursitis can occur in the elbow, shoulder, hip , knee , Achilles tendon or heel etc. This may be acute or chronic. Bursitis can be diagnosed through physical examination, imaging techniques like X ray and MRI , and lab tests for signs of infection in the fluid of bursae.
Factors that can lead to bursitis.
- Wearing tight shoes or high heels can cause inflammation in the bursae of the feet .
- Doing too much weight bearing exercises like running, jumping or lifting weights while standing.
- Jobs and hobbies that require repetitive movements or activities.
- Sitting or standing in the wrong way for a long time at work or home , or by not stretching enough before exercises.
- Sudden injury can cause bursitis and also due to injuries that keeps coming back.
- Age is also a factor in cause of bursitis, elderly are more prone to getting bursitis due to fragility of the tendons.
- Reaction to medications and stress and inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Bursitis
- Pain is the most common symptom of bursitis. It may build up slowly or be sudden and severe. It is felt more when the joint is stretched or extended. There may be limited range of motion even without pain.
- Joint will be stiff, swollen and red.
- Fever , trouble moving the joint and pain lasting longer than two weeks could be a sign of an infection.
Measures to be taken to treat bursitis
- Reduce the pain and inflammation caused by bursitis by reducing the pressure on the affected area. Rest and raise the affected area.
- Ice packs on the swollen area for 10 minutes every 2-3 hours.
- Padding: thick foam cushion or knee pads can reduce the pressure.
- Footwear : comfortable, properly fitting shoes or trainers and protective insoles can help relieve the pressure on swollen bursae in the feet.
- Hip bursitis can occur from having one leg longer than the other . An orthotic shoe insert can help.
- Maintain healthy body weight.
- Use good posture all day.
Ayurvedic Views & Treatment Procedure for Bursitis.
Ayurvedic herbal medication and therapies help to maintain the balance of tridoshas and provide long term relief from the symptoms of bursitis. It will help to prevent the condition from worsening and repair the damaged tissue and protect them from further damage.
Various Ayurvedic herbal formulations that contains turmeric, triphala , guggulu , shallaki ,punarnava etc help in controlling the pain and reducing the inflammation in the bursae . Ayurvedic therapies like snehana (oleation) , swedana (sudation) , lepanam, upanaham, kashaya dhara, taila dhara can done after proper assessment of the condition of the patient. They are very effective in reducing pain and swelling. Ayurveda advices dietary restrictions and lifestyle modification for repair and rejuvenation of the body.