Shoulder Bursitis

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What is shoulder bursitis?

Shoulder bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of the bursa in your shoulder. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between tendons, bones, and skin.

How does it occur?

The shoulder bursa can get inflamed from repetitive motion of the shoulder. Shoulder bursitis often occurs in sports with overhead activities such as swimming, tennis, or throwing. It may also occur if you do carpentry work or painting.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include pain on the outer front side of your shoulder. Your shoulder may hurt when you lift your arm above your head. The outer side of your shoulder may become swollen and may at times feel warm.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will review your symptoms and examine your shoulder.

How is it treated?

To treat this condition:

Put an ice pack, gel pack, or package of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a cloth on the area every 3 to 4 hours, for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, or other medicine as directed by your provider. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days.
Your provider may give you a shot of a corticosteroid medicine into your shoulder bursa to help with pain and swelling
Follow your provider’s instructions for doing exercises to help you recover.
How long will the effects last?

The length of recovery depends on your age, health, and if you have had a previous injury. A bursa that is only mildly inflamed and has just started to hurt may improve within a few weeks. A bursa that is significantly inflamed and has been painful for a long time may take up to a few months to improve. You need to stop doing the activities that cause pain until your shoulder has healed. If you continue doing activities that cause pain, your symptoms will return and it will take longer to recover.

When can I return to my normal activities?

Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate. Return to your activities will be determined by how soon your shoulder recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury has occurred. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to get better. The goal is to return to your normal activities as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury.

You may safely return to your activities when:

Your injured shoulder has full range of motion without pain.
Your injured shoulder has regained normal strength compared to the uninjured shoulder.
How can I prevent shoulder bursitis?

Be sure to warm up properly and stretch your shoulder before such activities as throwing, playing tennis, or swimming. If your shoulder starts to hurt during these activities, you may need to slow down until the pain goes away.

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Posted on April 27, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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