Relieving bursitis pain: An explanation that makes sense


Acute pain, Bursitis, Healing, Neuromuscular therapy, Rotator cuff, Shoulder pain / Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

shoulder-painMedical relief of bursitis treats inflammation and pain, but doesn’t always correct the condition because the source may not be effectively diagnosed. Here is an explanation of bursits and its treatment that makes sense.

Bursitis means inflammation of a bursa. Bursae are found between body parts that rub across each other to prevent friction during movement. Friction creates heat. Too much heat causes inflammation which produces swelling and results in pain. In the joints, there are pads between moving parts filled with a thick fluid that act as a cushion.  When there is too much pressure in the joint, the friction increases and can make a bursa swell. The joint becomes restricted by the swelling and the friction gets worse with every movement, increasing the pain level.

As a Neuromuscular Therapist, how do I think about releiving bursitis pain? Mostly, I want to reduce the pressure in the joint and on the bursa. To do that I need to release the tension on the muscles that cross the joint so that the joint can open up and move freely. Without friction, the inflamed bursa will calm down, the swelling will reduce and the pain will go away.
Treating the muscles that cross the joint with Neuromuscular Therapy to release the hyperactivity in the muscles will allow them to lengthen and relax, receive blood and healing cells, and clear the area of the irritating waste products produced by the inflammation. Sometimes pain relief is immediate, but if the condition has been going on for a while, it may take some time for the symptoms to reduce.

Corrective actions: A home program of short and frequent applications of ice will stimulate blood flow, decrease the heat, reduce swelling, and bring healing. In the meantime, patients should reduce movements that create pain, but stretch and move the joint in every way they can to keep the process of healing going forward. The Neuromuscular Therapist can instruct the patient to self-apply pressure to key Trigger Points and specific areas of tight muscle that are increasing joint tension. The more consistent a patient is in self-treatment between professional treatments, the more quickly the bursitis pain will be relieved.

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