Every year, 6.6 million people throughout the United States visit the doctor to deal with some kind of knee injury. Of the various injurious that can plague your knee joint, one of the most common is bursitis.
Bursitis most commonly affects older adults, people with chronic conditions like arthritis or scoliosis, and people who are obese or inactive. Athletes, especially those who wrestle or play volleyball or football, are also prone to bursitis.
If you fall into any of these groups and think you may be dealing with bursitis of the knee, keep reading to learn more about this condition and how you can naturally treat it from the comfort of your own home.
What is Bursitis of the Knee?
Bursitis occurs when one or more of the bursae (small, fluid-filled sacs that surround your joints) become irritated and inflamed.
There are more than 150 bursae found throughout the body, and you can experience bursitis in any of your joints. The knee joint is one of the most commonly affected because it regularly undergoes a lot of stress.
Common symptoms of bursitis of the knee include pain, stiffness, redness, swelling, and difficulty moving the joint through a full range of motion.
Four Ways to Naturally Treat Bursitis of the Knee
Sometimes, medical intervention is required to treat bursitis of the knee. But, you can often get rid of your symptoms by simply implementing one of these four natural treatment options:
1. Cold Therapy
When you first start experiencing pain in your knee, it’s important to apply ice to the affected area. Often, some rest and cold therapy are all you need to feel more like your old self.
Ice will reduce pain and swelling in the area where you’re experiencing pain.
To reap the benefits of cold therapy, simply apply an ice pack to your knee for about 20 minutes at a time. You can repeat this three or four times throughout the day.
2. Keep Moving
When you’re struggling with knee pain, it’s tempting to stay completely sedentary to try and let it heal. In reality, though, taking too much time off could do more harm than good.
Once your pain starts to subside, it’s important to start moving your joint — gently — through a full range of motion. Exercises like bodyweight squats or leg extensions are good options.
This helps improve blood flow to the affected area, which is necessary for speeding up the healing process.
3. Increase Consumption of Acid-Forming Foods
Many people who suffer from bursitis of the knee also have calcium deposits in their bone tissue. By altering the body’s pH level, you can slowly break down and remove these deposits and minimize your pain.
One of these easiest ways to increase acidity in your body is to consume apple cider vinegar (one tablespoon per day, diluted in a glass of water). Other acid-forming foods to consume include:
- Meat and fish
- Grains like corn, oats, and wheat
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
4. Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil packs are most commonly known as a remedy for constipation and bloating. But, they can also be used to reduce inflammation that occurs when you suffer from bursitis of the knee.
To make your castor oil pack, you will need these ingredients:
- ½ cup castor oil (cold-pressed is best)
- Heating pad
- Plastic garbage bag
- 2-3 squares of unbleached flannel
- A large bath towel
First, turn on the heating pad and lay the bag on top of it (this helps prevent stains). Then, soak the pieces of flannel in the oil and lay the pieces on top of the plastic bag. Place the pack against your skin so the soaked flannel is covering the knee. Wrap the towel around your knee to keep the pack in place.
Leave the pack in place for at least one hour, making sure the temperature of the heating pad is as high as you can tolerate.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of bursitis of the knee and want to treat it at home before seeking out more invasive measures, these treatment options are a great place to start.
-By Joe Flemming