Shoulder Bursitis

Orthopedic Care for Shoulder Bursitis

When it comes to shoulder injuries, you may have heard of shoulder bursitis. Bursitis is a specific type of pain that affects the fluid sacs surrounding joints and bones in the body. If inflammation crops up in any of these bursae (the fluid sacs), it can lead to pain in the affected area and limited movement.

Shoulder bursitis is a specific type of condition that can lead to pain in the bursae that surround the shoulder. The bursae are tiny sacs filled with fluid, and they work to cushion the muscles, tendons, and bones near the joints. Bursitis is an ailment that happens when the bursae become inflamed. Bursae exist near the joints of places that experience frequent and repetitive motions.

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You may not be aware that you have shoulder bursitis until you get it diagnosed. You might believe that you’re suffering from shoulder pain, muscle soreness, or even a slight bruise, but there is a chance it could be shoulder bursitis. There are specific symptoms to keep an eye out for.

If you experience any of the following, you might be suffering from shoulder bursitis:

  • Your shoulder feels stiff or achy
  • The pain in your shoulder hurts more when you press on it, or you move it
  • Your shoulder looks red or swollen

If you suspect you might be suffering from shoulder bursitis, consult with your doctor.

Other factors to consider are if you’re suffering from excessive swelling or a rash in the area. Additionally, if you are experiencing shooting pain when you move the joint, extreme joint pain, an inability to move the joint, or any of these symptoms in combination with a fever, consult a doctor to seek treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors

Shoulder bursitis has numerous causes, so if any of the following symptoms listed below sound familiar and your shoulder is hurting, you might be suffering from shoulder bursitis. The main causes of shoulder bursitis are (a) if you are in a profession or have a hobby that forces you to make repetitive motions with your shoulder or (b) if you frequently put your shoulder in a position that puts pressure on your shoulder bursae.

Specific causes of shoulder bursitis include (but are not limited to):

  • Lifting something over your head repeatedly
  • Throwing a baseball or swinging a tennis racket
  • Leaning on your elbows frequently and for long periods
  • Stretching to scrub floors or to lay carpet

Additionally, there are some potential shoulder bursitis causes that don’t revolve around movement. These are inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infections, gout, or even trauma to the shoulder joint.

Anyone can develop bursitis, but the older you are, the more at risk you are. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to consult with a doctor if you have any concerns.

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Treatment and Prevention

As is the case with many other shoulder conditions, to best prevent injury, make sure to limit excessive and repeated lifting motions. Make sure to stretch properly and take breaks, use proper form, and make use of objects that can help with the strain of repeated motion, for example, elbow pads.

Many mild cases of shoulder bursitis can be relieved with rest and discontinuation of the motion that caused the pain. While this may make the shoulder feel better in the moment, flare-ups of pain may occur in the future, however.

Long-term treatment should be sought with a medical professional. They can prescribe a long term plan of care that may include everything from non-surgical treatment like pain management procedures or injections to physical therapy, rest, over the counter medication, or even surgical intervention (for more severe cases).


If you suspect you may be suffering with shoulder bursitis or shoulder pain, give us a call. Our orthopedic specialists have experience treating shoulder bursitis and want to help you feel better! Our locations in Hoboken and Jersey City are conveniently located with access to all of Hudson County. Call us today and start on your path to recovery!

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