Shoulder bursitis treatment

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Shoulder bursitis is considered as a chronic condition that can drastically limit activities if not properly managed. This condition develops once the bursa in the shoulder is injured or inflamed. Once an individual has been diagnosed with shoulder bursitis, there are measures to be taken to promote the healing process so that normal activities can be resumed.

The treatment for shoulder bursitis tends to vary depending on the severity of the condition. If the individual suspected with the condition seeks early treatment, the possibility for complications to develop can be reduced.

RICE method

The initial stage of treatment is the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) on the area. The application of an ice pack and elevating the shoulder helps constrict the blood vessels which allow the area to rest.

It is vital to take some time off from activities that trigger the soreness so that the inflammation subsides. The doctor might recommend a wrap or brace to protect the shoulder while it is currently healing.

Shoulder bursitis
The application of an ice pack and elevating the shoulder helps constrict the blood vessels which allow the area to rest.


In case the symptoms of shoulder bursitis disrupt with daily activities or the individual has a hard time during sleep, the doctor might recommend medications. Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, muscle relaxants can greatly help. These medications work by reducing the symptoms as well as minimizing the swelling.

Aspiration of fluid

Once the swelling linked with shoulder bursitis is the cause for the buildup of fluid, the doctor might recommend the aspiration of fluid from the affected shoulder. During the procedure, a needle is inserted into the shoulder and fluid is drawn out. The fluid that was aspirated is analyzed in the laboratory to help confirm a diagnosis.

Rehabilitation program

A physical therapist can help create the ideal stretching and strengthening program for the individual. When it comes to weak muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, increased pressure on the joint can result to injuries.

This can also occur if the tendons, muscles or ligaments are tight since they will pull the joint out of its proper alignment. The physical therapist can guide the individual with a suitable exercise routine that helps support his/her activities.

Activity modification

Once the symptoms subside, the individual can resume his/her normal level of activity. The individual should learn how to participate in activities or hobbies without resulting to future injuries.

In some individuals, they can cross-train in which the shoulder muscles are utilized in various ways to keep it strong as well as avoiding overuse. Always remember that proper warming up and correct body mechanics can help minimize any stress on the joint.

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