Physically active persons who may appear to be the perfect picture of health are the chief targets of bursitis. So if you are a highly active person, don’t be surprised if suddenly you develop an agonizing case of bursitis.


The word bursitis means “bursa inflammation.” Bursas are small flat sacs containing a thin layer of slippery fluid and are located in the body where parts move over one another, especially around tendons and joints as in the shoulder.


These bursal sacs help reduce friction and thereby facilitate the gliding action of joints, and other parts. Bursitis is caused by injury of a bursa.


Injured bursas swell up, become inflamed, and extremely painful…the pain ranging from a dull ache to a sharp, shooting pain which worsens upon movement. When bursitis strikes hard, the pain, inconvenience, and disability won’t let its victim think of much else.


Though bursitis can occur to any of the body’s nearly 150 bursas — including those of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, ankle and foot — most bursitis occurs in the shoulder. That’s why persons involved in certain sports and jobs requiring repeated overhead motion of the arms are especially vulnerable. For example, 57 percent of world-class swimmers are troubled by shoulder pain, experts say.


Bursas may get injured in many ways, including work, sports, and other recreational activities. Such injuries fall into two main types:


#1 — Direct Acute Injury such as a collision between football, hockey, or basketball players. A slip or fall at play or on the job can do it too.
#2 — Overuse Injury. Any repetitive, stressful activity can produce a bursal overuse injury. Repetitive motions of bowling, golfing, swimming, tennis playing (to name a few) as well as repetitive work-related motions frequently bring on bursitis.




As the popularity of aerobic exercise and other fitness-related physical activities continues to grow, so does the incidence of bursitis.


Some studies suggest that from 30 to 50 percent of all sports injuries (which include bursitis) are due to overuse.


All too often though, persons suffering from bursitis mistakenly believe their painful symptoms come from a “simple muscle strain.” So they apply a salve or ointment of some kind and hope for the best. In the meantime the improperly treated bursitis jumps at the opportunity to get worse, making what would have been a relatively easy-to-treat problem become much more complicated. Untreated shoulder bursitis frequently leads to a “frozen” shoulder.


The chiropractic doctor’s objectives in treating bursitis are threefold:


#1 — Obtain relief as soon as possible.
#2 — Prevent further aggravation (such as frozen shoulder) of an already serious condition.
#3 — Help the body overcome the underlying cause of the bursitis condition.


Since bursitis seldom gets better without proper treatment, it commands the respect and attention of chiropractic doctors everywhere who routinely treat this nagging, serious condition.


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