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Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis is not just annoying; it can put a real damper on your ability to perform everyday tasks and enjoy your favorite sports. But once you develop bursitis in the shoulder, you don’t have to stop playing. Instead, seek the advice from a renowned interventionalist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of bursitis and other painful conditions. With offices in New York City and northern New Jersey, Dr. Amr Hosny and his team of pain management specialists provide the best treatment for shoulder bursitis. Call today for an appointment.

What Is Bursitis in the Shoulder?

Bursitis in the shoulder is a painful condition that occurs because of inflammation and irritation of a bursa. A bursa is a tiny, slippery fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning and minimizes friction between the bones, tendons and muscles near your shoulder joint. The bursa protects tendons and ligaments from wearing out with regular use. By preventing friction, the bursa allows smooth movement in the highly mobile shoulder joint. This allows you to move your hands and the shoulder.

With too much friction, the bursa gets inflamed or irritated, producing more fluid for better cushioning. An inflamed bursa becomes enlarged and has a high risk of infection. This leads to pain, soreness and stiffness around your shoulder joint.

If you have an aching shoulder, Dr. Amr Hosny and the other talented pain management specialists at New York Pain Care can help. These physicians in the Financial District, Greenwich Village and Midtown Manhattan — as well as in Englewood Cliffs, Paramus, Riverdale, Cranford and East Brunswick, New Jersey — use the latest medical technology for diagnosis and effective treatment for shoulder bursitis.

What Causes Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder bursitis occurs because of excessive pressure on the bursa. These sac-like elements protect your joints. When injured, you feel a lot of pain and struggle with shoulder movement. Common causes of bursitis in the shoulder include:

While anyone can suffer from an inflamed bursa in the shoulder, some factors increase the risk of the condition, such as:

  • Lifting heavy objects overhead
  • Playing sports that involve throwing
  • Engaging in occupations and hobbies like carpentry and gardening

What Are the Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder bursitis presents a range of diverse symptoms. The shoulder is a complex joint with multiple moving parts. Any injury or damage to these parts can lead to pain and other symptoms. Your doctor asks about your symptoms to determine if you have a case of shoulder bursitis or another shoulder injury. Symptoms of bursitis include:

  • A sharp, pinching pain when moving your shoulder or hand
  • Swelling, redness and tenderness in the affected shoulder
  • Stiffness in your shoulder joint
  • A reduced range of motion
  • Pain at night when lying on the affected side

With these symptoms, you need specialized attention by a pain specialist. Dr. Hosny is a board-certified, Harvard-trained specialist with experience handling different kinds of pain. Find him and other experts at New York Pain Care in NYC and northern NJ.

When Should I See a Pain Management Doctor?

Many patients treat symptoms of shoulder bursitis with painkillers, but this isn’t a long-term solution. Visit a pain management doctor for a firm diagnosis and appropriate shoulder bursitis treatment. Consult your pain management doctor when you experience symptoms such as:

  • Joint pain that affects your ability to work
  • Inability to move your shoulder joint
  • A bulge or lump around the shoulder joint
  • Excessive warmth at the area with an inflamed bursa
  • Fever, chills or night sweats, which points to an infected bursa
  • Excessive swelling, rashes or redness in the affected site

The team at New York Pain Care leverage the best diagnostic equipment to identify the underlying cause. Your doctors look at your medical history, perform a physical exam and request imaging tests if necessary. When the diagnosis points to an inflamed bursa, the team works to relieve your pain and restore the function of your shoulder. The longer you wait, the more pain you have.

How Is Shoulder Bursitis Treated?

After your diagnosis, your shoulder bursitis treatment can begin. Your doctor recommends bursitis shoulder treatment options that may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that reduce inflammation and the pain around the shoulder joint.
  • Topical medications. These include creams, sprays, gels and patches applied to the affected shoulder area for pain relief.
  • Physical therapy. This is a long-term solution for bursitis and other shoulder problems. Your therapist may recommend stretches and other exercises to strengthen your shoulder muscles and help with posture.
  • Modification of activities. Changing your routines reduces the risk of continued swelling. You must avoid activities that require pulling, throwing, lifting and pushing.
  • Antibiotic therapy. This is treatment for septic bursitis to treat an infection and reduce the pain.
  • Aspiration. This involves drawing out the excess fluid in a bursa with a needle and syringe to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Immobilization. Your shoulder joint is kept still in a sling to reduce movement and irritation to the bursa.
  • Cold treatment. An ice pack and cold compress reduce the pain, decrease swelling and promote healing.
  • Rest. Your doctor most likely recommends rest to reduce further damage to your shoulder.
  • Steroid injections. With this bursitis in shoulder treatment, your doctor injects a small dose of corticosteroid and local anesthetic to reduce inflammation of the bursa, delivering pain relief too.

The doctors use a multi-disciplinary and individualized approach to pain treatment for the best outcomes. If you’re struggling with incapacitating shoulder pain, contact the pain specialists at New York Pain Care today.

Page Updated on Sep 7, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of New York Pain Care
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