What is Bursitis aka Frozen Shoulder?
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, which is a lubricating barrier that separates the bones in a moving joint. They exist all over the body, wherever two bones meet and rub together during movement. When the bursa become injured, they swell up, causing stiffness and pain in that joint. The problem with bursitis as opposed to other types of joint injury, is that it tends to get worse with exercise, rather than better. For this reason, people often end up with a joint that becomes completely immobile the longer they try to ‘work it out’.
The shoulder joint is among the more complicated as it moves the arm in a wide arc of motion, not only extending the arm, raising it and lowering it, but also turning it as well. Due to its unusually complex movement capacity, the shoulder tends to develop the most problems since it is almost always in motion. Think about it for a second, how many times do we humans raise our arms over our heads every single day? We do it when we put on a shirt, comb our hair, put on a jacket or coat, or put on a hat, among other things.
And don’t think for a second that because the bursitis is in your non-dominant shoulder, you won’t need it much anyway. Wrong. We all use our secondary side just as often as the dominant one, and we use it several times every single day. So the more we use the afflicted shoulder joint, the more stiff and painful it becomes. Before you know it, you have one arm that you can barely move and you are thinking to yourself, “now what?” Your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication that can help you out, but drugs usually come with side effects that we really don’t want. Natural pain relief, without psychoactive effects is a more desirable approach to healing. CBD Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that is proven, through many studies, to reduce inflammation. Exactly what a shoulder with Bursitis needs!
Ways to Treat Bursitis
It helps to know that you can easily treat bursitis of the shoulder (the most common kind) yourself with a few easy stretches. The most beneficial stretching technique is to push back the shoulders so that the spine is straight and the chest is out. This takes the pressure off the bursa and eases its swelling considerably. Perform this exercise just a few times each day until the pain and stiffness are gone, and the bursa will miraculously begin to heal.
When you see movement in the shoulder returning and can do more for yourself again, you will be tempted to stop doing the exercise. But this is the worst possible thing for you to do. Remember that you only need to actually do the stretch a few times a day. Make a habit out of it. The best part is, it just looks like a stretch and is easy to perform in public. Just remember to do it as often as you can. Eventually, the movement becomes habitual and you’ll do it without thinking about it. This is important, because bursitis can return, and this is one way of preventing the problem before it ever takes hold again.
Another stretching exercise that is beneficial not only for bursitis but also for any type of shoulder, back and neck pain, is to arch the spine and look up as if you are star gazing. Then throw back both arms as far as you can while simultaneously pulling back the shoulders. When you do this, you will resemble a diver preparing to do a backward dive into a swimming pool. This multiple-muscle stretching exercise will not only feel good but will likely also help to realign your spinal column as well.
One device that works very well for promoting good shoulder, neck and spine health, is the arched back stretcher, a small, sturdy, padded arch that you lie on to align your spine. This device automatically pulls the shoulders back, which is what you want when you have bursitis. With a device like that, you can get not only bursitis relief, but also relief for back pain if you have a persistent ache. However, if you have suffered a serious back injury in the past, which required fusion surgery, speak to your doctor before attempting to use any device that arches the back or neck.
When you stretch your shoulder in these ways, you should gradually see a return of movement as well as less pain, and all without taking medication of any kind. For severe bursitis, where the bursa is so swollen you can actually feel the lump in your shoulder, it may take a few weeks to fully recover, even after regaining most of your mobility. This is because the shoulder has been weakened and takes some time to recover its strength. Using a light barbell helps to build up the arm again, but try to lift it only up to shoulder level, never high overhead.
Other Options that Help Bursitis
As with any bodily injury, bursitis of the shoulder takes time to heal, so take it easy on the affected arm and try to do your best with only one arm if you can. Wear a sling on the sore arm whenever possible, to help take pressure off the painful shoulder. Letting the arm hang at your side actually puts more pressure on the bursa and causes more pain, so bending the elbow, and relaxing the arm in a sling, reduces that pressure and allows the bursa to heal. Of course, it’s difficult to wear a sling all the time and life throws two handed situations at us all the time, but do your best to give the sore shoulder a break now and then and it will heal much faster.
Applying ice is another way to help bring down the inflammation but do look for a non-psychoactive, full spectrum CBD oil, one of the best anti-inflammatories to help relieve pain and get that shoulder moving again!