Shoulder pain is one of the most common telltale signs of an overworked body. It may go away in a few days without intervention, but it may also mean that you have an underlying medical condition that needs professional attention. Your shoulder pain may be due to shoulder bursitis. Read on to learn more about bursitis and how to handle it.
Shoulder bursitis is the inflammation of the shoulder bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs found within the skeletal system. They provide a cushion between the bones and connective tissues of the body, and allow the tendons to move freely and glide without friction when arm movement occurs. Bursitis is the swelling and inflammation of the shoulder bursae due to repetitive motion, accident, or injury, causing shoulder pain.
Knowing the causes, signs, and symptoms of this condition will help you prevent it or take care of it early on.
Causes of Shoulder Bursitis
In general, bursitis can occur in any joint of the body, but it is more common in the shoulders. Shoulder bursitis has three categories:
- Chronic bursitis from repeated injuries or incidents (most common type)
- Infected bursitis due to bacterial infection
- Traumatic bursitis resulting from sudden injuries or accidents
All types of shoulder bursitis cause stress on the bursae, causing them to swell and get inflamed. Medical attention is often needed to prevent further complications from the condition.
Signs of Shoulder Bursitis
Patients have reportedly experienced pain that ranges from dull aches to sharp and severe pain. Your joints may also feel stiff or achy when you move them. The pain may increase when you press on the area. Usually, there is redness, swelling, and tenderness in the shoulder.
Other patients have reported difficulty sleeping at night, possibly due to nighttime pain while sleeping on their side. Limited range of motion is also common in patients with shoulder bursitis.
Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis
The symptoms of shoulder bursitis vary, depending the severity of the patient’s condition. Patients with chronic bursitis usually experience swelling in the area. This symptom usually calls for medical attention, and patients often report having unimproved swelling over a long period.
Patients with infected bursitis experience warmness and tenderness in the affected area. The pain and swelling may also cause fever, and the symptoms may travel and affect the entire arm. If a patient is experiencing these symptoms all at once, seek medical attention immediately.
Traumatic bursitis may result from an accident or sports injury. This condition often comes with the rapid swelling of the shoulder bursae. Athletes participating in full-contact sports or sports with significant impacts like lacrosse or football may experience this condition. When their shoulder receives a strong hit, it could cause the bursae to get inflamed. The inflammation is frequently accompanied by bruising in the area.
Most people who have shoulder bursitis may also experience shoulder tendinitis or vice versa. Shoulder tendinitis is an injury to the soft tissue that connects the shoulder muscles to the clavicle.
Treatment and Prevention
Conservative treatment is the first line of treatment for shoulder bursitis. Some examples include:
- RICE method – resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the affected area to help with pain and swelling.
- Medications – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help alleviate the pain and reduce swelling.
- Physical therapy – promotes the development and strengthening of the muscles of the affected area to prevent recurrence of the condition.
When these conservative treatments fail to improve your condition, your doctor may suggest surgery. The surgical procedure will drain the fluid-filled bursae to ease pain.
Prevention of the condition is also vital. Here are professional recommendations to help prevent shoulder bursitis:
- Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the unnecessary stress the joints receive.
- Perform proper warm-up and stretching to prevent overexertion and protect the joints from injuries.
- Taking frequent breaks helps prevent overfatigue and overuse of the shoulders for a long time.
- Wheeling heavy loads. Carrying heavy loads affect the shoulder bursae. It is advisable to use a wheeling cart or a dolly instead.
Shoulder Care Clinics in Miami, FL
Do not ignore shoulder pain, especially if it is chronic and disrupts your daily life. If you’re looking for a place to get your shoulder health assessed, look no further than The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center! Dr. Tosca Kinchelow is a highly-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a surgery of the hand subspecialty. Along with our accommodating staff, she can surely take care of you, from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.
If you wish to know more about us and our services, contact us online or call (888) 908-9036. You can also secure an appointment by using our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!