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Bursitis of the Shoulder


Bursitis of the Shoulder

Bursitis can occur in numerous locations in the body. The shoulder is a common area to experience bursitis. A bursa is a fluid filled sac surround by tendons, bone, muscle, and other soft tissue. When the bursa is inflamed, bursitis occurs. There are more than 5 common bursa in the shoulder region!


Bursitis can be caused by traumatic injury, repetitive or over-use injury, or a systemic inflammatory disease; i.e., rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia.


Clinic Presentation:

You may experience pain that is worst w/ lying on the affected side, moving the arm in certain directions, lifting, tugging, and pulling. You will also present with point tenderness near the involved bursa. It is important to note that rotator cuff injuries can mimic bursitis, so it is important to allow your physical therapist to perform a thorough evaluation on your shoulder to determine the cause of your pain.

Risk Factors:

Common risk factors leading to bursitis of the shoulder may include chronic inflammation, trauma, over-use, and degenerative joint disease.

Medical Management:

Bursitis of the shoulder can be conservatively treated with physical therapy. Interventions will emphasize gentle mobility and pain-free range of motion. Your physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory treatments that may consist of oral medication or injections.

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