Bursitis is a common painful disorder involving inflammation of one or more bursae, the small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the areas between bones and other body parts. When bursae are damaged by traumatic injury or chronic overuse, they become filled with excess fluid. This inflammation can cause severe pain at the affected site. Bursitis can occur in various regions of the body, including the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle. Once bursitis occurs, the patient's movements alter in an attempt to lessen the pain and further misalignments of the spine are likely to occur, exacerbating the condition.
Chiropractic Care for Bursitis
Chiropractic treatment can be very helpful in treating bursitis by lessening discomfort, increasing range of motion, speeding up the healing process, and preventing recurrence. Once fractures and serious disease conditions have been ruled out by diagnostic imaging tests, the patient's pain can be effectively addressed by chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can be effective in treating the underlying causes of bursitis, such as poor posture, tight muscles, misaligned vertebrae, abnormal foot mechanics, as well as in relieving the pain of the condition.
Chiropractors use various techniques to help patients suffering from bursitis. After an acute injury, when the pain is most intense, temporary immobilization, rest and application of ice may be necessary. Most chiropractors, however, try to begin stretching and gentle massage as soon as possible to keep the muscles from stiffening or cramping. Chiropractic methods used to treat bursitis and tendonitis may include:
- Manual spinal adjustments
- Joint manipulation of the affected area
- Ice or heat therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Deep muscle massage
- Trigger point therapy
When patients try to compensate for the painful inflammation of bursitis, they often move in ways that worsen the condition, leading to uneven wear and tear of the joints and increased muscle stiffness. With chiropractic care, however, patients' bodies are reprogrammed to move in healthier ways, assisting the body to heal itself more effectively.
Advantages of Chiropractic Care for Bursitis
Where allopathic medicine relies on medications and, sometimes, on surgical procedures for bursitis, chiropractic care treats the symptoms of painful inflammation in a more immediate fashion. Patients can experience symptom relief beginning with their first chiropractic visit. The practitioner's hands-on approach releases tension and pressure from affected joints and nerves and the trigger point massage can often lessen pain within minutes. Patients who visit chiropractic with bursitis usually experience greatly reduced pain and increased mobility within several sessions. Although full healing may take at least 6 weeks, during the period of treatment patients normally experience successive improvement.
Advantages of chiropractic care over conventional medicine include:
- Rapid symptom relief
- Absence of medication
- Non-invasive nature of treatment
- Holistic approach to healing
During the period of chiropractic treatment, scar tissue forms to help heal the injury. While this is occurring, continued treatment with ultrasound and massage is necessary to break down scar tissue, increase blood flow, and ensure that full joint and muscle flexibility returns. As healing takes place, the chiropractor helps to stretch the patient's muscles, increasing gradually to promote full range-of-motion. Chiropractic care, including advice on nutrition, posture, and proper exercise helps the patient to avoid future injury.