Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid filled sac called the bursae. The bursae sac helps lubricate the joints where muscles and tendons come together with bone. Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to bone.
Both of these conditions can be extremely painful and both are caused by overuse of a joint. The shoulders and wrists are the most common areas for these painful conditions but they can occur at any joint in the body if the joint is overused.
Prevention is always the best way to avoid bursitis and tendonitis, but this isn’t always an easy thing to do. Many jobs require use of the affected joints on a daily basis. Doing some daily gentle exercises could help keep the joints lubricated and in use so you wouldn’t suffer as much damage when you were required to do more strenuous tasks.
When looking at herbal treatments you will want to consider those that are good for pain and inflammation as well as ones shown to be good for connective tissues and cartilage.
Willow is, of course, a staple in any herbal remedy for pain. Willow is nature’s aspirin. Simply use the bark of a willow tree to make a tea or mash up into a pulp for topical application.
Echinacea is good for connective tissue injuries like tennis elbow so it would be a good choice for bursitis and tendonitis as well. It can be taken in capsule form or tincture form. If you take the tincture form you may experience a tingling and numbing sensation on your tongue but this is harmless.
Silicon plays an important role in the health of connective tissues and cartilage. Element silicon can be found in an herb known as horsetail and is easy for the body to use. A tea can be made by using about five teaspoons of dried horsetail to one quart of water and bringing it to a boil. After it begins to boil you should reduce the heat and simmer for an additional three hours. Strain the mixture and allow the tea to cool before drinking it. Adding a teaspoon of sugar before boiling will improve the taste as well as help bring out the silicon in the herb. Other foods that contain silicon are barley, cucumbers, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, stinging nettle and string beans.
Licorice has been shown to be as effective as cortisone and hydrocortisone without all the side effects of the two. Licorice is safe if consumed in moderate amounts but large doses may cause headache, water retention and high blood pressure.
Pineapple contains bromelain and has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory agent. It also helps with bruising, pain, swelling, and joint injuries. Many athletes eat large amounts of pineapple before and after workouts to help protect their joints and tendons.
Magnesium is an important mineral for connective tissues, bones and muscles. Leafy green vegetables contain fair amounts of magnesium and should be eaten regularly especially if you are prone to joint injuries.