Shoulder separation

Overview on shoulder bursitis

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Shoulder bursitis is an inflamed shoulder bursa. There are several bursae in the shoulder joint which is a sac filled with fluid that minimizes friction in the shoulder spaces. This is a usual cause of shoulder pain that is generally linked to shoulder impingement of the bursa amidst the rotator cuff tendons and bone.


Shoulder bursitis typically triggers the following symptoms:

  • Steady onset of the symptoms over a span of weeks or months
  • Achiness or discomfort on the exterior of the shoulder
  • Pain that might radiate down the arm up to the elbow or wrist
  • Aggravated pain while lying on the affected shoulder
    Pain that might radiate down the arm up to the elbow or wrist.
  • Shoulder pain is intensified during overhead movements
  • Shoulder discomfort is felt between 60-90 degrees of arm moving upwards and downwards

What are the causes?

Shoulder bursitis can be brought about by repetitive minor trauma such as overusing the shoulder joint and muscles or from a single episode of significant trauma such as a fall.

As for overuse-type injuries, the condition is often linked with impingement and tendonitis of the rotator cuff tendons.

Preventive measures

Take note that getting rid of the causes of primary and secondary impingement is a vital point in preventing the development of shoulder bursitis as well as issues with the rotator cuff.

Certain influences such as muscle length, posture, rotator cuff strength and shoulder stability should be dealt with and can also be optimized using specific exercises recommended by a physiotherapist.

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