Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Many people usually seek medical help for their symptoms after suffering an accident that results in injury or when age begins to present discomfort in the shoulder joints among other but, a frequent diagnosis for shoulder pain given is shoulder bursitis.
Shoulder bursitis is a medical condition which results in the inflammation of the bursa in the shoulder. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac structure that functions as a cushion between the bones and tendons in the body. These can be found near multiple joints and their role is to facilitate smooth movements and decrease friction between the various joints. But, when a bursa housed within the shoulder becomes inflamed, it can eventually lead to shoulder bursitis.
This condition is commonly caused by sport injuries, or accident-related injuries. Bursitis in the shoulder also becomes more common with increased age. Regardless of the cause of injury, the key cause for the development of this condition involved the rotator cuff in the shoulder. The rotator cuff is made up of a set of muscles and tendons that support the bone of the upper arm with the shoulder. Overuse of the shoulder through repetitive overhead movements of the arms or injury due to a fall or while lifting heavy objects can result in shoulder impingement if the bursa becomes inflamed.
When this occurs, the inflammation of the bursa causes the rotator cuff to become compressed in between the bones. As a result, the muscles may lose strength and the shoulder joint can become unstable.
The most common symptoms of shoulder bursitis are pain and inflammation. The majority of individuals may experience acute pain while participating in physical activity due to bursitis. If the condition worsens, pain could be felt even at rest. Once the pain and swelling becomes severe, the individual could experience loss of motion of the joint or could develop another condition known as frozen shoulder. Visibly, the condition could cause the affected area to become warm to the touch and the skin may turn red.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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