Bursitis in the shoulder goes by a number of different names including shoulder impingement, subacromial pain syndrome and the more commonly known term shoulder bursitis
What is Shoulder Bursitis?
There are many bursae in the human body. Essentially they provide a surface that reduces the friction of bones, muscles and tendons rubbing. The shoulder joint has many structures that run through it and when the mechanics of the shoulder aren't quite right, the subacromial bursa in the shoulder gets inflamed. When inflamed it gets larger making it easier to irritate, and as a result the shoulder pain gets worse.
- Shoulder pain at the front or discomfort located deep in the shoulder joint itself
- Pain with overhead activities
- Pain with activities that compress the shoulder joint, such as push ups and planks
- Most commonly there is a gradual increase in pain over a period of weeks to months
Shoulder Bursitis Treatment and Pain Relief
To treat shoulder bursitis the underlying cause of the original irritation of the subacromial bursa must be identified. These commonly involves poor rotator cuff strength and endurance, poor timing and activation of the rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscles, stiffness through the middle (thoracic) spine, tightness through the pectoral, muscle imbalances and technique errors.
As you can see there are a number of causes shoulder bursitis. It is the role of your physiotherapist to assess and identify which of these causes is the issue and correct it. In the meantime the inflamed bursa is calmed down through avoiding painful activities, hands on physiotherapy and medical management.
People often put up with this type of pain for a long time before getting it looked at which causes rehabilitation of the issue to take longer. So if you are experiencing symptoms that fit this, or are unsure if this is the issue that you are having, book now at PhysioLogix Physiotherapy