Bursitis is a painful and uncomfortable condition that most commonly affects the hips, elbows, and shoulders. You can also develop the condition in your knees and heels, although it is less common. Bursitis occurs when the small fluid-filled pads that cushion the area between your tendons, muscles, and bones become swollen. The irritation near your joints causes pain and makes it so that your joints cannot move smoothly. Instead, the area is not protected, and things rub against each other.
While there are a few different causes for bursitis, the causes in seniors are slightly different. Some causes of this condition for non-seniors include doing manual work such as heavy lifting and a lot of repetitive motion on the job that causes constant strain and pressure.
Athletes are also more likely to develop this condition. Both professional and recreational athletes can develop bursitis from running, throwing, jumping, playing tennis, partaking in a game of basketball, or bowling on the weekends.
Most seniors will not be doing heavy lifting and intense manual labor on a regular basis and will not play sports or engage in more intense and demanding physical activity. So, how do seniors develop bursitis and what are the most common causes in seniors? We will take a look at the most common causes below and some of the best treatment options for bursitis.
Leaning on Your Elbows or Knees
Leaning your elbows or knees on a hard surface for extended periods of time on a regular basis can cause bursitis. Leaning your elbows on a table writing, painting, etc. can cause this condition to develop. Furthermore, leaning your knees on the hard ground without any padding is a cause as well. Kneeling to garden, scrub floors, do handiwork, play with animals or children can lead to this condition as well.
Sitting for long periods of time, especially on a hard surface without cushion, can cause bursitis. The older you get the harder it is to remain active, so sitting for much of the day becomes commonplace. If you sit at the kitchen counter on a hard stool, take public transportation with unpadded seats, or go to your grandchildren's football games where you have to sit on hard bleachers, you may be more prone to developing bursitis.
Putting Away Dishes and Other Chores
Although putting away clean dishes seems like one of the most innocent and unharmful activities, the repetitive motion of lifting dishes or glasses above your head to put away in tall cabinets can cause bursitis. Putting away clean dishes every day or most days of the week acts as a repetitive motion and can cause the fluid-filled pads near your joints to wear down and become inflamed.
Other repetitive activates besides putting away dishes can cause bursitis as well. Sweeping and vacuuming floors, dusting, whipping counters and windows, cooking and stirring, and other chores that require repetitive motions can cause this condition and continuing to do these activities will just make the pain and inflammation worse. Other Causes
The development of bursitis may also include trauma to the affected joint, rheumatoid arthritis, an infection, and gout. Only your doctor will have the resources to determine in your bursitis is caused by one of these issues, so if your symptoms last for more than a few days, you should seek medical attention to rule out any of the above more serious causes. You will need medical assistance to treat the condition and will not be able to solve the problem with at-home remedies. Treatment Options
The good news is, most of the time, you can treat bursitis at home and will not need to seek medical attention. Some of the most common, simple, and helpful treatments to do at home include the following:
- Getting lots of rest so the joint can heal and recover
- Icing the area that same day you notice the issue and continuing to ice over the next few days
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Avoiding the actives that likely caused the condition in the first place
The above treatments should work quickly, and bursitis should be resolved within a week. If it is not, then it is time to see your doctor. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy or chiropractic care to heal current bursitis and prevent the condition from coming back.
Although chiropractic care may not seem like the most obvious treatment for this condition, there are many great benefits to this option, and it can drastically improve your bursitis while preventing it from happening again in the future.
Adjustments by your chiropractor can relieve inflammation and swelling in the affected area. The adjustments also work to make your joints more mobile, reduce any restrictions you may have, and misalignments in the spine and other areas of the body. Fixing all of these issues with a natural, safe, and drug-free treatment is much better than relying on medications to help mask the actual issues.
When all of your joints are properly mobile and your nervous system is functioning at optimal capacity, your body is much less likely to develop the condition in the first place, but if you do get it, your body will be much better off at handling the symptoms caused by this common condition. Even if you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover chiropractic care, you can visit a chiropractor without insurance for less cost than you think.
In the end, treating bursitis is relatively easy and can be done at home most of the time. If it cannot be treated at home, much of the time you can opt for options like chiropractic care and psychical therapy to help manage the symptoms and prevent it from coming back in the future.
As we age, bursitis becomes more common, so it is important to take the proper steps to make sure you reduce your risk of developing bursitis in the first place.
This content was written and edit by Dr. Anthony Odney.