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Shoulder Bursitis/Tendonitis

​​​​​​​​​​​Overuse and repeated motion of your shoulder can cause a painful condition called bursitis.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The medical term impingement syndrome refers to inflammation around the rotator cuff and the bursa surrounding the tendons of the shoulder. 

Depending on the extent of the condition, you may have bursitis and/or tendonitis. 

These issues occur when there is swelling between the ball of the arm bone (Humerus) and the top of the shoulder joint which may be associated with the buildup of calcium. 

The swelling causes the tendons and the bursa to get pinched with each motion. 


Depending on the severity of the condition, your physician may offer various treatment options to manage symptoms and correct the problem.

​Nonsurgical Treatment

  • Rest – simply avoiding unnecessary movement that may contribute to swelling may help to relieve pain.

  • Medication – pain and swelling can be reduced using various anti-inflammatory medications available over the counter like Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc.

  • Ice packs – the application of ice to the affected area can reduce pain and swelling as well as stimulate blood flow to the shoulder.

  • Physical therapy – a series of low-impact exercises may be recommended to strengthen the rotator cuff and bring back a range of motion to the shoulder with less pain.

  • Injections – if other non-surgical treatments prove ineffective, your physician may suggest a cortisone injection or “steroid shot” to the affected area which may also help reduce symptoms.


​In cases where non-surgical treatments do not improve range of motion or reduce pain, your physician may consider a surgical procedure to correct the condition.

  • Arthroscopic surgery – in this procedure, your physician will use small incisions and instruments to make more room in the shoulder joint to relieve swelling and pinching.

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The Shoulder Quiz

A glenoid labral tear and a torn rotator cuff are just 2 common injuries that can go happen with your shoulders. Can you think of others? Find out how much you know about shoulders by taking this quiz.

1. The collarbone is part of the shoulder joint.
2. The shoulder is one of the most movable joints in your body.
3. A pain in and around the shoulder may mean your have a disease elsewhere in the body.
4. A shoulder is easy to dislocate.
5. Swelling and numbness are 2 symptoms of a dislocated shoulder.
6. A dislocated shoulder must be kept immobile for 3 months.
7. Jobs that require heavy lifting can lead to rotator cuff tears.

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