What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Your body has many complicated ways of helping you move with ease, and pain-free. One of the systems that your body uses is bursae. A bursa is a tiny, fluid filled sack, that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues. You will find bursae throughout your entire body, wherever it is required for a tendon or ligament to glide constantly over a bony area, or another tendon or ligament. Bursitis occurs when this bursa becomes inflamed, and pain and tenderness can result. There are 5 main Bursae in the shoulder.  Shoulder bursitis most commonly refers to the subacromial bursa, or the bursa that sits under the roof of the “socket” of the shoulder joint.

What caused my Shoulder Bursitis?

Bursitis may be caused by injury to the area, or a rheumatic condition, such as gout. Rarely bursitis is caused by an infection. The most common cause of Shoulder Bursitis is an injury or strain. This can occur occasionally even with minor injuries, and the bursae are often found to be inflamed or thickened in people with no pain or symptoms.

How can physiotherapy help me with my Shoulder Bursitis?

Your physiotherapist will undertake a through and specific examination of your shoulder and how it is affecting your life. This will allow them to make a personalised treatment plan for you, depending on your specific presentation. Typically, your treatment will involve techniques to settle your pain, and to increase the sub-acromial space to ease pressure on the bursa. They will also address the contributing factors to your injury, such as; posture, strength and mobility.

What should I do to avoid aggravating my Shoulder Bursitis?

  • AVOID overhead activities, particularly during the acute phase.
  • DO concentrate on maintaining good posture
  • CONSULT your PHARMACIST regarding the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, but avoid aggravating activities.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles performing to their optimum level

Keep good care of your body and your physiotherapist will continue to monitor your condition. Once your Shoulder Bursitis has resolved you will be able to resume your full activities without worrying about future flare-ups.

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