Shoulder Bursitis Treatment in South Carolina

What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Bursitis in the shoulder is caused by swelling in the bursa. The bursae are sacs that are filled with fluid and are part of the skeletal system. They fill the space between bones and connective tissue with cushioning, which lets muscles, tendons, and bones move together smoothly.

The bursae in the shoulder protect the area between the rotator cuff muscles and the acromion, which is the highest point of the shoulder blade. Bursae keep the muscles and bones from rubbing against each other when you move your arms or lift them.

Types of Shoulder Bursitis

There are several kinds of shoulder bursitis, such as:

  • Chronic – Shoulder bursitis that lasts for a long time can be caused by repeated accidents or bouts of acute bursitis. It’s the most common kind of bursitis in the shoulder. This ongoing inflammation can make your arms and shoulders weaker over time
  • Acute – This kind comes on quickly, often because of an accident or injury. It hurts to touch or move the shoulder
  • Infectious – In rare cases, bacterial infections like staph infections can lead to shoulder bursitis that can be septic, which may cause severe shoulder pain

Shoulder Bursitis Symptoms

Bursitis can cause shoulder pain that comes on quickly or gradually. You might feel a dull ache, a sharp pain, or just a little soreness.

Other signs of bursitis in the shoulder are:

  • Shoulder pain or a feeling that the shoulder is swollen
  • It hurts to move around
  • Pain at night when sleeping on the affected side
  • Sharp or pinching pain when the shoulder is moved up and down

Shoulder Bursitis Treatment

Shoulder bursitis is treated by lowering inflammation and easing the pain and other symptoms. Most people find relief from their symptoms with the following non-surgical treatments:

  • Stopping activities – Temporarily stopping activities that irritate the shoulder is a good way to give your shoulder a rest to let symptoms subside
  • Ice – Ice packs on the shoulder help reduce inflammation
  • Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can help ease symptoms. If your bursitis is caused by an infection, antibiotics are necessary to treat the condition
  • Injections – Steroid injections in the bursae help relieve pain and swelling for a few months at a time
  • Oral steroids – Severe pain and inflammation can be helped with oral steroids prescribed by your doctor
  • Physical therapy A physical therapist can work with you to strengthen the weak muscles around your shoulder and improve the range of motion

Your doctor may suggest shoulder surgery if your symptoms get worse or don’t get better with non-surgical treatments. This surgery could be done by making small incisions and using a tiny camera (arthroscope) to look inside the joint.

Shoulder Bursitis Care in SC

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact us here at Carolina Orthopaedic & Neurosurgical Associates, and we will do what it takes to get you back to doing the activities you enjoy. Schedule your appointment at any of our locations that may work best for you.


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