. Sunday, September 28, 2008
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What to do When Pain Strikes

Despite its quaint nicknames-housemaid’s knee, student’s elbow and clergyman’s knee-bursitis is no laughing matter.

This painful condition occurs when your bursae, the tiny fluid-filled sacs that serve as cushions in and around the joints, become swollen. The most common cause is overuse of certain joints, especially in activities that are out of the ordinary for you. This cloud be taking on your teenager in yet another round of one-one basketball, painting the kitchen or playing too many sets of tennis. As bursae rub against muscles, tendons and each other, they become irritated, swollen and painful.

Bursitis can also be caused by pressure-hence those descriptive nicknames. Kneeling to scrub a floor or roof a house puts pressure on the bursae of the knee, for example. A shoe that’s too tight can cause a swollen bursa, called a pumpbump.

Most commonly, bursitis strikes the shoulders, says Patrick Guiteras, MD., clinical faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Other common site are he elbows, hips and knees. Fortunately, the condition usually passes within a few days to a week or two.

When bursitis hits, the first thing to do is stop the activity that caused the problem. Then attend to pain with the following treatments.

Chill it. Immediately apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel to the trouble joint to bring down swelling. Leave it on for ten minutes, several times a day.

Apply moist heat. After the swelling has disappeared, warm up the area by taking a shower or bath, apply hot towels or relaxing in a heated whirlpool. Heat increases blood circulation to the affected area, which helps it heal.

Take on OTC. An over-the counter medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen will help reduce swelling and pain. Check with your doctor first if you have a history of stomach ulcers or irritation.

Keep Moving. Although you don’t want to repeat the activity that caused the bursitis, its important that you don’t stop moving, particularly if your shoulders are injured. Otherwise, the joint will become stiff and can “freeze.”

Eliminate the pressure. Try to keep pressure off the affected area. If the bursitis is in your shoulder or elbow, for example, try to sleep on your back or on the side opposite that joint.

To be continue……………….


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