Shoulder Bursitis Information

Last updated on 20 July 2019 by Danniel Jacques (B.Med.Sci UNSW)

What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder Bursitis before & after - OSMO Patch - USBursitis shoulder pain will sometimes be called a rotator cuff injury however this is a general term that also includes shoulder tendonitis pain.

More specifically bursitis in the shoulder is the inflammation of a small fluid filled sac known as a bursa. There are many bursa sacs throughout the body and their role is to act as small lubricated cushions between bones, muscles and other body tissues. This allows low friction and resistance during movement of the joints. There are two main bursa sacs in the shoulder that are responsible for bursitis shoulder pain and they are;

» Subacromial Bursitis
» Subdeltoid Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis pain should not be left untreated as it may become chronic which could then lead to scar tissue formation and further irritation and shoulder pain.

What Causes Shoulder Bursitis?

Within the complex shoulder joint there is a network of muscles, bones, tendons and other tissues that move together to allow for all the integrate movements of the shoulder. Normally these all move fairly effortlessly thanks to the small bursa sacs within the shoulder joint space that protects them. However the following can cause injury, inflammation and impingement within the shoulder and they would be considered the main causes of shoulder bursitis:

  • A sudden impact
  • Repetitive strain
  • Wear and tear
  • Underlying inflammatory condition

What are the Symptoms of Shoulder bursitis?

Signs and symptoms of shoulder bursitis can include:

  • Shoulder pain while lying in bed,
  • Pain in the shoulder when raising the arm,
  • Localized swelling and tenderness,
  • Severe shoulder pain when lifting heavy objects, and
  • Even shoulder pain at rest.

Shoulder bursitis can be felt as either right shoulder pain or left shoulder pain. As more people are right handed than left it is not unusual to expect right shoulder pain to be more prevalent than left shoulder pain.

How is Shoulder Bursitis diagnosed?

Bursitis in the shoulder is not normally associated with visual swelling so it can be hard to properly diagnose on visual examination.  A proper diagnosis from a qualified health care professional is important to rule out other causes of shoulder pain and hence an ultra sound and  X-ray will be required. In some cases an MRI may also be required to rule out any co-exist conditions that may have contributed to the condition.

Next Page: Learn the answers to the most common questions asked about treating shoulder bursitis, including:

Testimonials

Real accounts by real people. Hear what they have to say!

I had a sudden case of Shoulder Bursitis, in fact, the Orthopaedic Surgeon said it was the most severe and immediate he had seen in years. He gave cortisone shot and Rx Narcotics that barely cut the pain. No sleep as pain worse at night. In my desperation for relief I searched the internet to […]

- T. Mule, Colorado, United States

Hi, Have been using the patches now for 6 days, just wanted to know how long to use them for. I imagined until the area no longer has any fluid on the patch, have had bursitis in shoulder for 5 weeks now, have had only a small relief so far, Cheers

- Ingrid, United States

Dear Danniel, I’ve just ordered my second lot of patches and have noticed a vast improvement in my shoulder. I just wanted to let you know I think they are working and will continue to use them. Thank you and I will be telling people all about your website.  Regards

- Janet R, SA, Australia

Eight years ago I had a work place accident and injured my left shoulder (bursitis and tendentious). After extensive physio & sports rehab the doctors advised me to get cortisone injections.  Not only was this a painful procedure, it didn’t work! I proceeded to have physio treatment off and on for the next 8 years, […]

- Belinda W, SA, Australia

Hi I have had bursitis in my right shoulder for more than three years, after about 6 months of physio, I still have a lot of pain. About 1yr & 2 months ago I developed bursitis in the left shoulder and left elbow, which causes me to have very disturbed sleeps and I cannot sleep […]

- Tessa L, VIC, Australia

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