Bursitis is inflammation or the swelling of a bursa, which is a small fluid-filled sac which forms under the skin, usually over the joints and between tendons and bones.
There are around 160 potential bursae in the human body which occur anywhere friction occurs. These bursae act as cushions between two surfaces that rub against each other, such as bones, muscles, joints and tendons. Their job is to help reduce friction and they do this because they are lined with special cells called synovial cells, which produce a liquid that lubricates the moving parts of the body.
Injury or repetitive strain can cause the bursa to become inflamed. This can often be the case with runners and joggers who increase the risk of bursitis in their ankles. Less commonly, bursitis can occur as a result of an infection or as a complication of certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s possible for any bursa to become inflamed, but the most common places where bursitis occurs are the:
The risk of developing bursitis is increased if you regularly do an activity that involves a lot of repetitive movement. For example, darts players who repeatedly bend and straighten their elbow may get bursitis of the elbow. People who do a lot of kneeling, such as carpet fitters and gardeners, have a high risk of developing bursitis in their knee (known as ‘housemaid’s knee’).
Taking precautions, such as wearing knee pads or warming up before exercise, may help to reduce your risk of getting bursitis.
Bursitis can develop in three main ways:
- when you have a pre-existing health condition that causes inflammation of the bursa
If a bursa is injured, the tissue inside it can become irritated, resulting in inflammation (swelling). In most cases, the injury develops over a prolonged period of time as a result of overuse of the joints, muscles and tendons that are near the bursae. Repetitive movement is a particular risk for this type of injury.
Some of the ways that specific parts of the body can become injured and cause bursitis are listed below.
- The shoulder can become injured by overhead lifting or reaching.
- The elbow can become injured by repeatedly bending and straightening it, or by falling on it. This may affect certain athletes, such as gymnasts or hockey players.
- The knee can become injured by repeated movement or repeated kneeling (bursitis of the knee is known as ‘housemaid’s knee’). This may affect people with certain jobs, such as carpet layers, or certain sports players, such as footballers.
- The ankle can become injured by excessive walking (particularly if you’re not wearing suitable walking shoes), or by activities such as ice skating or athletics.
- The hips can become injured by running.
A bursa may also be injured if subjected to a sudden impact, such as banging your elbow on a piece of heavy furniture or by falling with heavy pressure on to your knees.
Bursae that are near the surface of your skin, such as those near your elbow, can become infected. Infection can occur if bacteria on the surface of your skin find their way into cuts and grazes and then move into a bursa. Bursitis caused by an infection is known as septic bursitis.
The immune system (the body’s natural defence against injury and illness) is usually very effective at preventing this sort of infection, so septic bursitis tends to only occur in people who have a weakened immune system. Factors that are known to weaken the immune system include:
- HIV or AIDS
- taking corticosteroids
- heavy alcohol consumption
A number of health conditions can sometimes cause inflammation of a bursa.
These conditions include:
- gout – a condition that’s caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood
- rheumatoid arthritis – a condition where the immune system attacks the linings of the joints
- scleroderma – a condition that causes hardening of the skin
- ankylosing spondylitis – a type of long-term arthritis that affects parts of the spine
- systemic lupus erythematosus – a poorly understood condition that affects many of the body’s tissues and organs
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey. Check out www.grasslandbeef.com.
Many researchers believe a proper balance of vitamins and minerals is essential in the treatment of arthritis and related conditions. Large quantities of vitamin C are often recommended. Acting both as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, vitamin C helps repair and maintain healthy connective tissue. It is essential for collagen production and the maintenance of joint lining, helps tissue repair, and reduces the bruising and swelling often associated with arthritis.
Vitamins A, B1, B6, E, and niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) have also proven effective in treating and preventing arthritis. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, considered to be both a vitamin and a hormone. It controls the absorption of calcium and phosphorus used in bone formation.
Other dietary supplements that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects important for arthritis prevention and treatment include boron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, pantothenic acid, and sulfur. Bee pollen, royal jelly (another bee product rich in pantothenic acid), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and evening primrose oil are also beneficial in alleviating arthritis symptoms, especially among rheumatoid arthritics. All these supplements, though, should be taken only under supervision by a qualified health professional.
Manganese has many functions in the body, including normal growth and metabolism. It helps to activate enzymes, is used for normal bone development, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are usually significantly deficient in manganese and supplementation is recommended.
Cetyl myristoleate, a rare anti-arthritis substance now created synthetically, acts as a lubricant for joints and muscles, modulates immune system function, and has anti-inflammatory effects. Cetyl myristoleate is usually given orally for one-month period, at a 10-15g dosage. It is also available as a cream. This fatty substance should be taken in conjunction with 100mg of lipase, an enzyme that digests fat.
Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)* is a source of sulfur (derived from wood pulp, garlic oil, or as a byproduct of petroleum) and is thought to be a free-radical scavenger with anti-inflammatory properties. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a sister compound of DMSO derived from food sources. MSM is naturally produced in the body, but levels decrease with age and in degenerative illnesses such as arthritis. These supplements can reduce inflammation and scar tissue, relieve pain, and increase blood flow for improved exchange of nutrients. Of special relevance in rheumatoid arthritis, MSM can help normalize the immune system and reduce the autoimmune response.
*Caution: When applying DMSO on the body use thoroughly clean hands and clean cotton swabs. Take care to be impeccable because whatever substance comes in contact with DMSO gel is absorbed quickly and driven deeply into the body. Avoid contact with dirt until the area is completely dry.
Shark cartilage in capsule form is now being used to combat the pain of arthritis. Shark cartilage contains large amounts of mucopolysaccharides (carbohydrates that form chemical bonds with water), which stimulate the immune system and reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Shark cartilage is orally administered at least 30 minutes before meals. Enzymes, especially Wobenzyme, a pancreatic enzyme formula, are also important for helping to reduce symptoms of inflammation.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Benefits of MSM: www.naturalnews.com/030294_MSM_health_benefits.html
Alternative remedies for bursitis: www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/bursitis-000022.htm
5 Tips for Natural Relief from Pain: blog.seattlepi.com/naturalmedicine/2012/06/25/5-tips-for-natural-relief-from-osteoarthritis-pain
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/recommends/
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective blogs.naturalcures.com/hypnotherapy-for-stress-management-why-it-is-so-effective
How to treat bursitis with herbal remedies at home: www.ehow.com/video_4822785_treat-bursitis-herbal-remedies.html
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Bee venom for bursitis: www.naturalnews.com/026689_venom_arthritis_bee_stings.html
Heal with infra-red therapy: www.naturalnews.com/031045_infrared_therapy_healing.html
Grapes a natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis: www.naturalnews.com/028801_grapes_gout.html
Rheumatoid arthritis skyrockets by 50 per cent in women : www.naturalnews.com/025950_arthritis_rheumatoid_women.html
Vitamin D deficiency causes rheumatoid arthritis in women: www.naturalnews.com/029080_vitamin_D_deficiency_arthritis.html
Further Information (links and books)
Healthy Bones & Joints: A Natural Approach to Treating Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Tendonitis, Myalgia & Bursitis by David Hoffman; Natural Relief from Arthritis: Relief from Osteo arthritis, Gout, Bursitis, Lupus, etc.’ by Dr. Shaheen Perveen
The Amazing Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet by Michael Massie;
Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book) by Tammi L. Shlotzhauer, James L. McGuire and Carol M. Ziminski
Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna
by Bernie S Siegel
The Healing Power of Nature Foods: 50 Revitalizing Superfoods & Lifestyle Choices To Promote Vibrant Health by Susan Smith Jones
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
1,000 Indian Recipes (1,000 Recipes) by Neelam Batra;
Food–Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – Aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – Organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – Meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – Herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – Reiki, Tai Chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – Aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic practitioner.