Shoulder Bursitis

Subacromial bursitis, commonly known as shoulder bursitis, is a painful condition wherein the bursa of the shoulder becomes inflamed.

Several joints throughout a person’s body have these bursa, which are small fluid-filled sacs that exist within the joint to relieve friction between the bones. There are three major types of bursitis, including:

  • Chronic bursitis
  • Traumatic bursitis
  • Infected bursitis

Cause of Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis can be influenced by many factors. Most often, patients will develop shoulder bursitis from overuse of the joint, injury to the joint, or a related medical condition that affects joint health, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Individuals in certain professions like carpentry or athletics will have an increased risk of developing shoulder bursitis since they use their shoulders more than the average person.

Shoulder Bursitis Symptoms

Individuals with shoulder bursitis will experience a number of telling sensations within their shoulder that will indicate a case of shoulder bursitis.

The most common symptom is swelling of the joint as the bursa becomes inflamed. Other symptoms involve the pain that the person feels during regular movements of the shoulder, such as:

  • Pain when making circle motions with the arm
  • Discomfort as you push to open a door
  • Pain radiating from the top of the shoulder
  • Pain as the arm is lifted away from your side
  • Discomfort when you push on the top of your shoulder
  • Pain when lying on the affected shoulder

Treatment Options

Because so many cases of shoulder bursitis are a result of overuse, adequate rest can usually help to greatly reduce painful symptoms caused by shoulder bursitis. Other effective treatment methods for shoulder bursitis include:

  • Over-the-counter medications to bring down inflammation of the bursa
  • Applying ice to the area for 10-15 minutes at a time
  • Utilize a shoulder brace to immobilize the joint and keep yourself from aggravating it further
  • Gently stretching the shoulder

If the aforementioned non-invasive treatments do not prove successful after months of implementation, it may be time to consider surgery. Types of shoulder surgery can vary, and will depend on the individual patient’s case.

Your surgeon will typically either opt to reconfigure the damaged tissues that are pressing into the bursa, or they may choose to remove the bursa entirely in order to provide more room within the joint.

It is very important to discuss each and every option available to you with your physician before committing to a course of treatment. To speak with an orthopedic surgeon about your shoulder bursitis, please contact Woods Mill Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment.