Shoulder bursitis is a painful inflammation in the shoulder joint. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae which is a small sac filled with fluids near the joints. They cushion the moving parts of the joint. It also prevents bones, muscles and tendon from rubbing together.
When the bursa becomes irritated, it result to inflammation, grows in size and cause pain when moving the shoulders.
Causes of shoulder bursitis
- Trauma or injury to the shoulder such as falling or banging the shoulder on hard surface.
- Repetitive pressure on the shoulder such lifting the arms overhead which are common in playing sports, painters, tennis players, wallpaper hangers, swimmers and baseball pitchers.
- Aging of a person
- Having a poor posture
- Bacterial infection of a bursa known as septic bursitis
- History of inflammation of the bursa
- Calcium deposits or bone spurs
- Pain and stiffness of the affected area
- The shoulders becomes red and swelling
- Pain around the tip of the shoulder
- Reduce range of movement of the joint of the shoulder
- Pain when touching the shoulder
- Swelling and redness of the affected area
- Pain when raising the arm such as reaching shelves or washing the hair
- Pain becomes worse at night especially lying on the affected shoulder and keeps the shoulder in one position.
- Prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the discomfort and the swelling in the shoulder.
- Rest the affected shoulder as much as possible. Minimize movement of the shoulder to prevent further irritations on the bursa and delay the healing.
- Prescribed brace to support the area prevent unnecessary movements and lessen the pain.
- Apply ice pack on the affected shoulder for at least 15-20 minutes every 4-6 hours intervals to lessen the swelling and the pain.
- Apply warm compress on the area for increase flow of blood in the area, lessen the stiffness and the inflammation. Soak a clean face cloth in hot water as hot that can be tolerated, wring out excess water and apply the warm face cloth on the area.
- Compress the area using an elastic bandage wrapped around the affected shoulder to lessen the swelling and for proper flow of blood in the area. It also prevents further irritation by immobilizing the area. If there are tingling sensations, loosen the wrap.
- Raise the affected shoulder in couple of pillows to keep it elevated above the level of the heart to lessen the inflammation and the pain.
- Perform gentle rehabilitation exercises with the help of the physical therapist to lessen the pain, restore strength, flexibility and range of movement of the affected shoulder.
- Prescribed steroid injection around the bursa to lessen the pain and swelling.