As a gradeschooler, I regularly watched black and white reruns of The Andy Griffith Show. My favorite character was Aunt Bee.
Her main priority was taking care of the family. I remember one scene where Aunt Bee informs Andy their cousin “got bursitis” and she needs to help her out for a few days.
I remember fervently running to the dictionary to find out about it. I was fascinated by the definition of bursitis.
I also had a sense of relief because I wouldn’t be able to “get bursitis” until I was much older.
What exactly is bursitis?
Around most of your joints you have a type of customized padding. This padding is known as bursa. The plural form is bursae.
The padding or sac is filled with fluid which cushions your joints when you move them. Ultimately, the bursa takes the pressure off your joints.
According to the Nemours Foundation, you can actually develop butt bursitis from sitting on something unpadded for an extended period of time.
Bursitis can be either chronic or acute. The U.S. National Library of Medicine stated “Chronic inflammation can occur with repeated injuries or attacks of bursitis. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection. Sometimes the cause cannot be determined.”
Areas where bursitis commonly occurs include:
• Achilles tendon
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine symptoms include:
• Stiffness and achiness when you move the affected joint
• Swelling, warmth or redness over the joint
• Joint pain and tenderness when you press around the joint
The Nemour’s Foundation recommends the following at-home therapies if you suffer from bursitis:
• Avoid pressure. Avoid placing pressure on the joint. This will aggravate bursitis rather than help it to heal.
• Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen may help.
• Elevation. Raising a joint that is swollen for any reason can help to reduce swelling. That goes for bursitis, too. If possible, elevate the affected joint so it is above the level of the heart.