Shoulder Bursitis

What is bursitis and how did you get it?
Lets start with what a bursa is. The bursa is a fluid filled pouch that acts as a cushion between the bones of your shoulder and arm and the tendons and soft tissues that attach to them. Bursitis is an inflammation or irritation of this pouch. Bursitis is also often associated with tendonitis.

As I often say, any things can lead to the onset of a condition. Bursitis can be related to:

  • Trauma: did you fall, were you in a car accident;
  • Overuse: How many coats of paint did you apply over the weekend, were you a weekend warrior on the softball field?
  • Muscle Imbalance: are there some muscles that are too tight in your neck or the front of your shoulder or too weak in the back of the shoulder? Muscle imbalance can lead postural changes or changes in how your shoulder moves, leading to stress on the bursa or other shoulder structures.

Now what can you do about it?

  • You can use ice to control pain.
  • Doing some basic stretching and exercise can resolve the muscle imbalances.
  • Isolated exercises that control the shoulder blade and the rotator cuff muscles should help with the movement issues.
  • Manual therapy, to improve the mobility of the shoulder joint or the surrounding soft tissue and muscles, will help decrease compression on the bursa and tendons.

The most often prescribed exercises are based on what structures are at fault. Assessment by your physical therapist can identify the likely problems and instruct you in the appropriate treatment, exercises and interventions to resolve the problem. Check with your local PT who specializes in manual therapy (hands on treatments) to get the answers you need. If you are in the RI area you can schedule a free consultation by contacting us at RI Limb Prosthetics, Orthotics And Physical Therapy or call (401) 884-9541