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Shoulder bursitis is one of the most common forms of shoulder pain. Nevertheless, it may be time to seek professional assistance if at-home care has proven ineffective. Dr. Jonathan Glashow’s Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine in NYC offers treatments to help you fully recover if you’ve been in pain for over two weeks already without resolve. Our goal is to have you return to a pain-free and active life.

What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. Typically, bursitis is caused by an injury that irritates or infects the bursa in the shoulder joint, such as a dislocation or rotator cuff tear. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac between the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade that provides a cushion between soft tissues and bone. When the bursa is swollen from inflammation, it can push against the tendons and bones, causing pain and shoulder stiffness. Aside from injury, arthritis, gout, bone spurs, tendonitis, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can cause shoulder bursitis.

Other Risk Factors of Shoulder Bursitis

Repetitive movement and overuse of the shoulder joint are the most common causes, but a fall or car crash can also cause bursitis. For example, if you have a hobby that puts repeated stress on the shoulder, like weight training, tennis or even knitting, you put yourself at risk of getting bursitis. Also, if you have a manual profession (painters, athletes, musicians), you are more prone to bursitis.

There are ways to prevent bursitis by reducing strain on the shoulder joint. For example, you can stretch and warm up before using the shoulder joint repeatedly. In addition, you can build up slowly when beginning the activity and take frequent breaks.

How Do You Know if You Have Shoulder Bursitis?

You experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have shoulder bursitis:

  • Limited arm mobility, particularly at the shoulder joint
  • Swelling and redness
  • The affected shoulder is tender to the touch
  • Pain when reaching up
  • Pain around the outside of the shoulder
  • Pain around the shoulder that gets worse at night or after the shoulder has been still for a while

If any of these symptoms progressively become worse, you may need a corticosteroid injection to relieve inflammation or surgery if the case is severe. However, if you do nothing, the bursa can continue to swell, becoming more painful as it does. Fortunately, the team of top-ranked orthopedic specialists at Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine’s clinic in NYC’s Upper East Side can offer treatment for relief. Contact Jonathan Glashow, MD, to schedule a consultation today.

Posted on behalf of Jonathan Glashow, MD

737 Park Ave, #1A
New York, NY 10021

Phone: (212) 794-5096


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