Heal Your Bursa
Combine Cold Therapy and BFST®!
Bursae (plural for bursa) are flattened fluid-filled sacs that function as cushions between your bones and the muscles (deep bursae) or bones and tendons (superficial bursae) to reduce friction and allow your soft tissue to slide over bone effortlessly during muscle contraction. Your bursae play an important role in leading a healthy, active life. When the bursae are not irritated and working properly, your joints move smoothly and painlessly. As you know, when you suffer from bursitis you will experience pain during physical activity.
Bursae are lined with synovial cells that secret fluid that is rich in protein and collagen and act as the lubricant between areas in your body where friction (rubbing) is greatest. When pressure or friction is too great, excess fluid can build up in the bursa sac causing inflammation. When a bursa becomes inflamed it is called bursitis, moving the affected area becomes very painful and movement can be difficult. Any actions that put pressure on the inflamed bursa can increase irritation and cause further inflammation and pain.
There are approximately 160 bursae in our bodies, however, not everyone has the same number of bursae. Some bursae occur naturally and some occur as a result of excess rubbing in a particular area. These bursae form initially to protect the area from the minor trauma. The major bursae are located adjacent to tendons and muscles near larger joints, such as in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. However, not all tendons have a bursa and they can also form in smaller joints like your toes.
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What Causes Bursitis?
Trauma (Acute or Chronic)
Stress, overuse, injury, or prolonged pressure on a bone can cause trauma to the soft tissue around a joint including the bursa. Injury to the bursa can result in widening of the blood vessels in the sac. This allows foreign fluids, blood and proteins to enter the bursa and it reacts by swelling and becoming inflamed.
Chronic trauma bursitis refers to minor injuries to the bursa that occur in one spot over time. It can be caused by repetitive motion, prolonged pressure on a joint, or some abnormality in the body that causes excess friction.
Working in a profession or enjoying a hobby that requires repetitive motion puts you at an increased risk of developing bursitis. For example hip bursitis is common in runners, shoulder bursitis in baseball players and painters, and elbow bursitis is often suffered by those who enjoy a frequent game of darts. As you repeat the same motion the bursa becomes over worked, irritated and eventually inflamed.
Acute trauma bursitis refers to bursitis caused by a direct blow to or twisting of the joint. An awkward fall may cause you to bang your hip or elbow, or you might bang twist your knee or ankle causing the bursa to be pinched. These types of injuries can cause serosanguineous, a fluid composed of serum and blood, to leak into the bursa causing irritation and inflammation.
If your bursa becomes infected it is referred to as septic bursitis. Septic bursitis is usually caused by a bacteria know as staphylococcus epidermis (or staphylococcus aureus) that is commonly found on the surface of the skin. Bursae that are located just below the skin are more susceptible to infectious bursitis due to abrasions on the skin covering the bursa. In the case of septic bursitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the bacteria. Alternatively, the bursa may be drained every 3-5 days until the infection is resolved.
Septic bursitis occurs more frequently in men than women, with 85% of the cases appearing in the male population. People who have diabetes, alcoholism, certain kidney conditions, or are undergoing steroid therapy are at higher risk of contracting septic bursitis.
As with any infection, it is important to see your doctor to receive treatment for septic bursitis. If left untreated, the infection may spread through the blood to other parts of the body and it can become life-threatening.
Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, scleroderma, gout, thyroid disease and diabetes can increase the risk of developing bursitis. These conditions can cause crystal deposits (gout) or calcific loose bodies (rheumatoid arthritis) to form within the joint causing irritation and inflammation in the bursa and surrounding tissue. For example, bursitis is common in people with gout because of their inability to properly break down uric acid which is a natural by-product of metabolism in the body. When it is not broken down properly, the excess acid begins to crystallize and settle in the joints.
In situations where bursitis has developed due to infection you must see a doctor for prescribed antibiotics and possibly drainage of the bursa. However, bursitis caused by trauma and/or deposits in the joint can be treated at home in 2 easy steps; cold therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™.
Relieving the symptoms of bursitis initially focuses on keeping the pressure off the bursa. Surgery may be required if your bursa irritation is a result of a bone formation problem, such as a bone spur. If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will probably drain the bursa sac with a needle and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with cold therapy.
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your joint. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving stress on the joint, correcting any biomechanical dysfunction (hooked acromion, uneven leg length, bone spur, etc.), treating scar tissue, and then restoring strength and movement. Blood flow stimulation therapy (BFST®) is recommended once inflammation has been calmed to heal the bursa and surrounding tissue faster and reduce the risk of bursitis returning.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Therapy
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of bursitis doctor's recommend cold therapy.
Applying cold to your inflamed bursa will help decrease the swelling and redness around it. Cold therapy will also help to numb the pain and help to control the inflammation. In addition, the deep cooling effect provided by a Freezie Wrap® reduces tissue damage.
The Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn.
Cooling your inflamed and overworked bursa as needed throughout the day is recommended. The Freezie Wrap® can be used to apply cold in a safe, convenient and effective way - and the gel pack is reusable. The gel pack sits gently over the inflamed bursa to reduce swelling and redness.
The wrap is soft and adjustable so it fits your body properly, without irritating the bursa, and allows you to adjust the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.
Applying cold to your tender bursa and joint is the first step in treating your bursitis.
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Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with cold therapy it is time to improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your bursa back to normal.
Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis it can be painful to even walk or lift your leg. Because it is painful you stop moving your joint as you normally would. When you limit movement the blood flow to your joint is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients.
The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursae. This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, or BFST®, becomes a powerful tool.
BFST® compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting blood flow while you give your sore joint the rest it needs.
The Inferno Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun's spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health.
The energy emitted from the Energy Pad stimulates blood flow to your sore joint, more than your body would ever be able to generate on it's own, giving your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. The healing energy reaches deep into your bursa to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate your tissues for improved elasticity.
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With these easy-to-use therapies, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your pain and range of motion.
We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.
NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be used if required to help manage your pain. However, these aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The use of cold therapy and BFST® in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal quicker.
Physical therapy is a beneficial way to restore atrophied muscles and improve strength and mobility after treating bursitis. The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the tissue damage and your symptoms. When you are treating or recovering from bursitis, it is important to ensure you do not perform any exercises that will further irritate the bursa.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will set up an individualized strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines.
Individuals will often lift weights on their own, to try and build up their strength. However, in doing so, they can do more damage to their joint. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is appropriate and effective. For best, long term results use BFST in conjunction with physical therapy and an exercise program.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your joint until your pain and inflammation settle, and you gain more mobility and strength. The more diligent you are with your rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results.