Shoulder bursitis is a painful condition that has several causes as well treatments.  Below are the most common causes, symptoms and treatments.

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint made up of the head of the humerus (arm bone) and the glenoid cavity of the scapula. Shoulder bursae are fluid-filled sacs found in the shoulder joint. Shoulder bursae protect and move the shoulder by allowing the bones to move without rubbing on each other. When the bursae become irritated and inflamed, a condition known as shoulder bursitis develops.

Shoulder Bursitis Causes

Shoulder bursitis is typically caused by injury and overuse. Athletes and active individuals who participate in over-head throwing or lifting sports or exercises are most at risk to develop this condition. When not treated properly, the condition and its symptoms can become worse and increase in severity.

Shoulder Bursitis Symptoms

The most common symptom of shoulder bursitis is shoulder pain. Typically, bursitis related shoulder pain becomes worse if the following occur:

  • The patient lies directly on their affected shoulder
  • The patient raises their affected arm above their head
  • The patient stretches or lifts their affected arm to grab or reach for something

Shoulder bursitis and the pain associated with it are generally easily treatable.

Shoulder Bursitis Treatments

A wide range of nonsurgical treatment options is available. The most commonly used include the following:

  1. Activity modification. Slowing down or stopping activities that produce pain gives the inflamed bursa(e) a chance to calm down.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Oral, topical, and injectable medications that decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  3. Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening the shoulder muscles takes pressure off the inflamed bursa(e). Manual therapy (manipulation and massage) helps decrease pain and increase range of motion.
  4. Corticosteroid injections. A combination of local anesthetics and power anti-inflammatory medications can be injected near the inflamed bursa(e) to quickly reduce inflammation and pain.

Rare cases that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options may be treated using a surgical procedure known as a bursectomy. During the procedure, an orthopedic specialist removes the inflamed bursa(e).

Seeking Treatment for Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis should not be a condition that gives you long-lasting problems. If you are in shoulder pain and are ready for it to go away, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our 5 Long Island offices to arrange an appointment. Your injury can and will be treated in a manner that ensures a full recovery.

The physicians at Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine focus on both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of shoulder injuries and are one of the most innovative orthopedic practices in the area.  Dr. Charles Ruotolo, President of Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, has published several peer-reviewed studies on orthopedic care and orthopedic surgery of the shoulder.

Fortunately, many patients can be treated non-surgically with a combination of conservative modalities coordinated by the Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Team. If surgery is necessary, the practice uses a multidisciplinary approach to create a treatment plan that focuses on the patient’s lifestyle and activities and helps them get back to those activities quickly and effectively.  Expect a full recovery when in the hands of our trusted physicians