Shoulder Bursitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

If you’ve ever dealt with shoulder pain, you know any movement from brushing your teeth to driving a car can hurt. The pain could be originating from any number of issues, one of those being shoulder bursitis.
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What is it?

Johns Hopkins describes this condition as inflammation and swelling of the bursa sacs located between the shoulder joint and surrounding soft tissues. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones, tendons, and muscles. When the thin bursa become worn away due to friction, they will swell, causing painful movement.

Shoulder Bursitis Treatment

Experts say that depending on the severity of the pain, there are different treatment methods to help ease the discomfort. It is recommended that you seek a diagnosis from your healthcare provider. Common treatments include:

Immobilization of joint area

This can be tough with the shoulder joint, but preventing further overuse of the joint is important for healing.


Resting the affected shoulder and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.


Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Ice should be applied, for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, several times a day. It’s not uncommon for swelling to last several weeks.

Pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist can develop an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint, improve range of motion, and reduce pain.

Corticosteroid injections

In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis


Symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the inflammation and the underlying cause of the condition. Here are some symptoms to look out for:


You may feel a deep, aching pain in the shoulder joint. The pain may be more intense when the shoulder is moved or when pressure is applied to the affected area. Due to inflammation, the shoulder may be warm to the touch.


The bursa sacs in the shoulder joint may become swollen and tender, leading to visible redness, swelling, or a bulge around the shoulder.


The inflammation can cause stiffness in the shoulder joint, giving you a limited range of motion — making it difficult to move the arm freely.


In some cases, shoulder bursitis may cause weakness in the affected arm, making it difficult to perform everyday activities.

Consider Treatment at QC Kinetix


There’s one more important shoulder pain treatment to consider, customized regenerative treatment options from QC Kinetix. We specialize in treating musculoskeletal issues like discomfort in the shoulder joint by utilizing customized biologics and non-surgical, regenerative treatments. At QC Kinetix, we utilize your body’s own natural abilities to reduce inflammation and soreness — whether it’s chronic or acute pain. When you visit one of our clinics, a provider will spend time with you, learning about you, your health history, and your everyday activities, which allows us to design a personalized treatment plan to give you relief with the goal of restoring your quality of life.

Complementary to your clinical regenerative treatment, we suggest using our physician-designed Joint & Bone supplement, created to reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

To learn more about a QC Kinetix customized plan designed to get you feeling better and enjoying life, schedule a free consultation.

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Joint & Bone Health Quickstart Program

QC Kinetix Joint & Bone Health supplements help your body to repair and renew injured joint tissues, including cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, while reducing inflammation of the bursae. Unlike steroids or pharmaceuticals, our supplements for joints work with your body to promote healing.

Supplements can boost your overall joint health as part of a general fitness program. However, they are particularly valuable for treating damaged or inflamed and painful joints. The Arthritis Foundation finds that joint health supplements show promise for relieving pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of arthritis.

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