Is Bursitis Preventable?

Bursitis is a painful inflammatory condition that affects many people, especially those involved in athletic activities. The bursae are small sacs filled with fluid; they act as cushions around joints, tendons, and muscles. When they become inflamed, it causes bursitis, causing pain and limiting mobility.

Bursitis can affect almost any joint, but it most commonly occurs in the shoulder, elbow and hip: these are responsible for a lot of the repetitive movements we perform, making them more susceptible to inflammation. It’s not always possible to prevent bursitis, but protecting your joints is the best way to start.

Exercise is an important factor in preventing bursitis: for one thing, strong, well-developed muscles help protect joints.  For another, it’s crucial for maintaining a healthy weight; being overweight puts excessive strain on joints, making them more prone to swelling and pain. It’s important to exercise correctly. Athletes, and even people who get a moderate amount of exercise, are at a higher risk of developing bursitis because of the pressure they put on their joints, combined with repetitive motions. Taking the time to properly stretch and warm up your muscles both before and after working out protects not only the muscles themselves, but the joints as well.

Those who do manual labor for a living are another group at increased risk, as they often perform repetitive motions, which puts regular strain on their joints. You can help prevent bursitis from occurring in the hips by using your legs when lifting heavy objects, bending at the knees. Wherever possible, relying on tools such as wheelbarrows and dollies for pushing and and carrying can help prevent shoulder bursitis.

Joints are also at risk when you’re not doing all that much – sitting for long periods of time without getting up to move around and stretch puts pressure on the hip joints. Kneeling on hard surfaces does the same to the knees, so gardeners should invest in knee pads.

Avoid activities that can aggravate bursitis, and take the time to ice and rest the area if it does develop.


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