Image credit((Source: “Man rubbing an inflamed painful elbow,” Standard License Subscription with Stock Photo Secrets – Image ID: ISS_5193_00630))
If you’re suffering from bursitis or tendinitis, Hands On Healing provides bodywork therapies designed to reduce inflammation and provide relief from these conditions.
For some time now, Hands On Healing has made a strong impression amongst several medical physicians for being a valuable asset in the treatment of their patients.
Some of the individuals sent our way come with very open-ended problems, meaning there is very little to explain what it is that causes their pain or dysfunction.
However, for most of these patients, the referring diagnosis is often tendinitis and/or bursitis.
If you have spent any time dealing with medical groups or doctors, or perhaps read one too many medical textbooks (we know we have), then you may find the suffix “it-is” mildly familiar.
For everyone else that hasn’t spent hours studying anatomy, physiology, and pathology, “-itis” is the suffix used when denoting inflammation of tissues in the body.
Inflammation is used to describe how the body pools blood in one area in an attempt to heal damaged tissues.
So if we take a moment and dissect the word tendinitis (“tendon” + “itis”), we quickly discover that we are talking about tendon inflammation, or tendon damage being healed.
Not too bad, right? And for bursitis (“bursa” + “itis”) we are discussing an inflamed bursa.
In Figure 1 (click to enlarge), you can see what looks like a small sack of water, or a cushion of sorts.
This cushion is a bursa, and it is designed specifically to prevent bones from rubbing against tendons, creating a friction-less environment for your muscles to move around. When the body is healthy and has ideal movement patterns, bursas are meant to actually prevent tendinitis from occurring.
Now, this example is a VERY simplified view of the shoulder, since in reality there are numerous other tendons and bursas throughout the joint, all protecting different angles and directions of movement.
This is the same for every joint in the body, and when you consider what a tight space all of these tissues are squeezed into, there really isn’t much room for dysfunctional movement.
When we apply bodywork to help ease inflammation, there is actually very little that can be done to the direct area of discomfort and damage.
Ideally, a moderate ice treatment will help calm inflammation.
Hands-on treatment is instead focused on improving the surrounding alignment of body segments and kinetic movement chains. In so doing, repetitive movements that have been exerting tension improperly into the joints and along tendons will ideally cease, and the body will have an opportunity to properly heal.
The causes of inflammation can be quite varied, with some instances being infections or autoimmune diseases, and others being biomechanical in nature.
In either case, it is best that you talk to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis, and once an internal infection is ruled out, we will be happy to get your movement patterns back on track.