Bursitis in shoulder and upper arm is an inflammation in shoulder bursa, which is usually accompanied by accumulation of fluid that contains protein as well as blood particles. This disease is one of the musculoskeletal system disorders and is most common among those who do sports at a professional level and people whose activity involves big loads on their shoulder joints.
Shoulder Bursitis Symptoms
Bursitis of the shoulder is a complicated disease; therefore, it manifests itself with many signs. Among the most common shoulder bursitis symptoms are:
- swelling in the shoulder joint. At the initial stage of the disease it does not cause big troubles, because it does not limit motion function and causes no pain;
- as bursitis in the shoulder progresses, you can feel pain and notice an inflammation. Pain location is mostly in your shoulder or upper arm area. When you do stretching or any other physical exercises, you can feel particularly acute pain;
- then you face limitation in your arm mobility, which is usually accompanied by sharp pain. In some cases painful sensation can be absent;
- redness of your skin and increase of local body temperature in the area above the inflamed joint.
Chronic shoulder bursitis has some more symptoms:
- fever up to 38 degrees C;
- purulent processes that provoke body intoxication. In this case you can have chill, headache and fever. Without proper treating you run a risk of developing a septic form of shoulder bursitis;
- in this case pain becomes strong and pulsating.
Causes of Bursitis in Shoulder Joints
Bursitis in your shoulder joint can develop because of soft tissue damage, for example, after an injury, or as a consequence of infection. If a damage caused the disease, you might develop aseptic bursitis, in case if an infection triggered the disease, you can develop septic shoulder bursitis. Your doctor should make a diagnosis, because shoulder bursitis treatment depends on the form of the disease.
Bursitis and tendonitis can arise after such factors:
- injury. It is the most common reason for these diseases;
- continuous load on your shoulder joints. That is why it is usually a disease of sportspeople;
- broad strokes of a certain amplitude with your arms.
However, there is another form of bursitis caused by a violation of metabolic processes. It is more difficult to treat, as it requires more complex treatment. In this form of the disease you can observe deposition of calcium salts in your shoulder joint, which in certain situations provokes limitation of mobility of your shoulder.
Bursitis of the shoulder joint appears in people after 50. In this age muscles become weaker and as a result, the shoulder joint becomes much more exposed to traumatic factors.
Bursitis can be caused by a cut or a boil. This so-called traumatic bursitis usually affects those under 35 years old. As a rule, this disease is not dangerous for your general state, but you should be very careful not to get another trauma of the affected shoulder because it can be a catalyst for the formation of a chronic form of the disease, which is much more difficult to cure.
Shoulder Bursitis Treatment
Regardless of the form of the disease, among first means your doctor will prescribe are non-steroid drugs that reduce inflammation. They are aimed at pain relief and significant reduction of an inflammation. However, you must not take such drugs for a long period of time because of their side effects. Therefore, in severe cases that require long-term treatment your doctor will reduce dosages of NSAIDs or replace them with another means. Very efficient in treatment of bursitis is cortisone injection. However, make sure you know what to expect after this procedure, as it has its side effects.
If you have primary form of shoulder bursitis, your doctor can prescribe gels and ointments for treatment at home. Severe bursitis of the shoulder joint involves treatment with ointments and immobilization of the affected joint with a special brace. Purulent form of bursitis needs to be cured with antibiotics. 30% of cases require surgery. In this case, a doctor will puncture your shoulder bursa and clean it with a specific disinfecting or corticosteroid solution until the inflammation is completely removed.
Chronic form of bursitis in shoulder and upper arm requires surgical intervention in 80% of cases. However, the procedure of operation differs from the one described above.
Along with the medical treatment your doctor can prescribe physical therapy that often helps to reduce pain and avoid swelling. He or she also will recommend you special therapy exercises for shoulder bursitis. They are aimed at gradual developing of your shoulder muscles activity. Sometimes home remedies can be a great help, if you have serous bursitis, but keep in mind that they are completely ineffective for purulent bursitis. Therefore, do not go in for self-treatment. Better consult a doctor if you suffer any pains in your arm and shoulder.
After getting rid of an initial inflammation, it is possible to use physical therapy. Doctors actively apply electrophoresis with calcium, iontophoresis with hydrocortisone and magnetic treatment. These procedures usually permanently reduce inflammation and swelling.
You also need to improve your blood flow and strengthen your shoulder mucles. This is possible to achieve with massage treatments. Massage, as well as the physiological procedures must be performed after neutralization of exacerbation.
The effect achieved with massage and physiological procedures is possible to keep with the help of moderate physical exercises. You should gradually increase load on your muscles and avoid intense sudden movements. Some doctors advise to have a course of acupuncture.