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Shoulder Bursitis

What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder bursitis is the inflammation of the shoulder bursa. It results in the swelling of the shoulder joint, causing pain and loss of movement. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs found near joints to reduce friction between moving parts. The shoulder contains multiple bursae, but the most commonly inflamed is the subacromial bursa.

Irritation of a shoulder bursa makes it swell and grow bigger. The inflammation reduces the space the muscles and tendons have to move, reducing the shoulder’s range of movement and causing pain.

Anything that agitates the shoulder such as injury, overuse, and chronic health issues like rheumatoid arthritis can lead to shoulder bursitis.

Types of Shoulder Bursitis

As mentioned before, the subacromial bursa is highly susceptible to inflammation, causing what is known as subacromial bursitis. It is caused by shoulder impingement of the bursa which causes inflammation and unnecessary wear and tear.

Another type of shoulder bursitis which is less known is subdeltoid bursitis. If the bursa is infected, it can lead to septic bursitis, and will require medical attention to treat the problem quickly.

What It Feels Like

Symptoms you can expect:

  • Feeling pain on the outside or tip of shoulder
  • Pain may travel down to the arm, reaching the forearm, elbow, and wrists
  • Shoulder is painful to touch
  • The area around the shoulder becomes red and swollen
  • Pain when trying to reach above head
  • Pain when lying on the shoulder, especially at night.
  • Pain while trying to do activities that involve reaching up. Ex: Taking something from a shelf or washing hair.
  • The shoulder may be infected if a fever accompanies your symptoms

If you notice any of these symptoms, then you should consult a professional for help.

How Can Physical Therapy help?

The demands of daily life require lifting and carrying things, and this can be difficult to do with a painful and swollen shoulder.

There are several treatment methods for shoulder bursitis, but physical therapy is one of the most effective and non-invasive methods.

If you have shoulder bursitis, a physical therapist can help identify the cause of the problem, and take necessary steps to help you regain full use of your shoulders. They also specialize in giving advice on aggravating activities to avoid.

Ice therapy can also be used to reduce the pain and hasten the healing process.

The physical therapist will carry out exercises that help you regain full range of motion. These exercises can include shoulder muscle stretches and joint mobilization. The physical therapist will take you through scapular stabilization exercises to correct the rhythm of the shoulder blade.

Your neck, upper back, and core will also receive attention as they may be the cause of the problem. All these will culminate in full restoration of the shoulder’s speed, agility, and power so that you can go back to swinging and lifting without any difficulty.

Lastly, our 830Laser at Lilly Physical Therapy helps injured tissues and wounds heal faster! It also makes them stronger and less vulnerable to re-injury. This treatment does NOT wear off like most medicines, electrical stimulation, heat or ice.

If you are suffering from any pain, injury, or weakness in your shoulder, for a limited time I would like to offer you one free session on the 830Laser. We are proud here at Lilly Physical Therapy to be a clinic that utilizes such an amazing healing device and would love to help relieve your pain. Call us today at (425) 224-2476 and mention this blog to get your completely free session.