Shoulder Bursitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & More!

Shoulder Bursitis


What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Bursitis is a condition that can occur in the shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees. This condition occurs when fluid-filled sacs called the bursa are inflamed. These sacs act as a gliding surface for tissue in the body. The shoulder is one of the most common joints to be affected by bursitis.

Shoulder bursitis may be acute, chronic, or in rare cases, septic.


What are Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis?

If you have shoulder bursitis, you will experience shoulder pain. Other symptoms of shoulder bursitis may include:


What Causes Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder bursitis is caused by overuse of the shoulder. This may be caused from sport-related activities like pitching, throwing, or swimming, or from jobs that involve repetitive shoulder use.


How is Shoulder Bursitis Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain that won’t seem to go away, seek help from a shoulder doctor near you. Your shoulder doctor may ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical exam to determine what type of shoulder condition you may have.

Your shoulder doctor may take imaging such as x-ray or MRI to determine what is causing your shoulder pain.


How is Shoulder Bursitis Treated?

If you have shoulder bursitis, your orthopedic shoulder doctor may recommend starting with conservative treatment such as:

Most of the time, shoulder bursitis will go away on its own or with conservative treatment. However, if symptoms do not go away or worsen, talk to a shoulder surgeon about minimally invasive surgical options.


Can Shoulder Bursitis Cause Neck Pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain that won’t seem to go away or worsens, it is possible that the pain can radiate to the neck. Neck pain isn’t a direct symptom of shoulder bursitis; however, it may be present in addition to shoulder pain.


Can I Workout if I Have Shoulder Bursitis?

If you have shoulder bursitis, your shoulder doctor will likely recommend activity modification. They may suggest avoiding workouts or weightlifting that involves shoulder use.

Activities that do not involve shoulder use like running, biking, leg workouts, and more may all be acceptable with a shoulder injury.

Your shoulder doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who can give you safe shoulder stretching and strengthening exercises to do.


Seek Help From a Shoulder Specialist Near You

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, you may have shoulder bursitis. Seek help from an orthopedic specialist near you to determine a treatment plan.

Our shoulder specialists are in Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood, TN. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, you can call us or request an appointment online.


Marina von Rutenberg Marina is the Marketing Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2021.

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