Bursitis
and natural pain relief!

Bursitis happens when the small bursa (or serous) sac, found inside the joints, becomes inflamed. This fluid-filled sac helps to lubricate the joint. If there is inflammation, the lubricated cushioning does not work properly and movement is painful.

Natural relief for bursitis!

This condition often occurs in larger joints like the shoulder, knee, elbow or hip and is usually caused by repetitive motions.

Bacterial infections, however, can also cause bursa inflammation.

If it is caused by infection, massage is not recommended.

Although bursa inflammation in elbows (epitrochlear or "tennis elbow"), hip sockets (trochanteric), heel bones (retrocalcaneal) or the kneecaps (infrapatellar) are most common, it can also be found in buttocks (ischiogluteal) or the thighs (trochanteric).

Acute bursa inflammation can be caused by a sudden fall or injury and is usually painful. Chronic bursa inflammation will come and go over a long period of time.

It is often caused by an injury, but can also be caused by:

  • Overuse from sports or repetitive work
  • Bad posture, either from desk work or lots of driving
  • As a condition of another disease like arthritis or gout
  • Infection

Symptoms include aching and stiffness in joints, limited range of motion, swelling, redness and heat radiating from the joint. Intense pain is rare, but can be felt if inflammation is great and treatment has been prolonged.

Natural Treatment

  1. PanAway essential oil blend is a powerful natural pain relieving oil that helps alleviate discomfort of bursitis, arthritis, headaches, as well as stressed muscles of back and neck. I truly recommend it to my clients almost every day!
  2. Cold packs are useful for reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Use an ice pack on the area for twenty minutes or so, leave it off for 20 minutes, then back on another 20 minutes.
  3. Heat packs are particularly useful for muscular pains in the hips, back, and neck areas. Hot stone massage is common treatment for massage therapists to offer to clients who are experiencing this type of pain.
  4. Massage therapy helps to relax the muscles and aids the healing. Gentle circular rubbing promotes healing and can help to ease the joint pain and inflammation. Typically, 5-6 minutes of light to medium pressure, followed by 5-6 minutes of slightly deeper work and friction movements will help.
  5. Inversion Table  which helps to relieve pain by lengthening muscles in the back and hip areas, allows the spine to realign itself and decompress discs to reduce added  pressure on joints.

Other treatment options often include an injection of steroids to reduce inflammation....ouch!

If none of these treatments work, your doctor may choose to aspirate (remove fluid through a needle) the affected joint.

Other Resources

This book by Fiona RattrayClinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing and Treating Over 70 Conditions helps you learn how to massage many common patient syndromes and conditions to help alleviate pain. This is the ultimate book reference for massage therapy benefits for medical conditions and pain syndromes!

Read more about shoulder bursa inflammation at 
http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/shoulder-bursitis.html


Go back to Massage Education Guide Homepage

Go back to Massage for Pain Syndromes from Bursitis

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