Understanding Shoulder Bursitis: Causes Symptoms and Treatment
What is Shoulder Bursitis?
Shoulder bursitis is a condition that occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your shoulder joint become inflamed. The bursae in the shoulder are located between the rotator cuff tendons and the bone on top of the shoulder. When these sacs become inflamed, they can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the shoulder. Shoulder bursitis can be caused by trauma, overuse, injury, or underlying medical conditions such as arthritis.
What are the Treatment Options for Shoulder Bursitis?
Class IV Laser
Class IV laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for shoulder bursitis that uses a high-powered laser to penetrate deep into the tissues of the shoulder. Typically, healthy bursae provide a smooth surface for easy movement. However, when bursitis occurs, the inflammation makes movement difficult and painful. In addition, the movement of tendons and muscles over the inflamed bursa can worsen the inflammation, creating a cycle of pain and discomfort leading to chronic bursitis.
Class IV Laser uses light energy and biomodulation to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and promote healing. If you suffer from shoulder bursitis, Class IV Laser Therapy may be the treatment option you’ve been looking for.
At Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, we use a Class IV Laser to penetrate your shoulder joint and target the inflamed bursa and surrounding tissues. Laser therapy can help restore normal function and range of motion to the joint by reducing inflammation and promoting healing, ultimately eliminating shoulder pain.
Treatment plans typically involve reduced activity followed by gradually returning to normal activities and exercise as your shoulder joint heals.
This high-intensity laser therapy can be used with other treatments, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture, to relieve pain and improve mobility. We offer free consultations and same-day appointments to determine if Class IV Laser Therapy is a suitable treatment for your shoulder bursitis.
Treatments typically last 5 minutes and can be scheduled twice weekly for two weeks. Accelerated healing can help get you back to life quicker than other treatments, so many of our patients opt for this advanced treatment.
Chiropractic care is another non-surgical treatment option for shoulder bursitis. At Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, we usually begin chiropractic care as the inflammation resolves after laser therapy. Chiropractic care involves manual manipulation of the spine and shoulder joints to improve mobility and reduce pain.
Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option for shoulder bursitis. By adjusting the spine and manipulating the affected joint, reducing the tension in the shoulder joint, our chiropractors can help further reduce inflammation and pain in the shoulder.
Chiropractic care can also help improve the range of motion and mobility in the shoulder, allowing patients to regain their everyday activities and daily tasks.
Additionally, chiropractic care can help improve overall posture and alignment, which can help prevent future injuries and improve overall health and wellness. If you suffer from shoulder bursitis, consider consulting with our chiropractor to explore your treatment options.
Fortunately, with shoulder bursitis, physical therapy is another effective treatment that can help speed up your recovery and get you back to your routine. At Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, our chiropractors and physical therapy team create a personalized treatment plan that includes exercises and treatments you can do at home once your inflammation has decreased.
By following a prescribed stretching and strengthening program, you can often see results in as little as two to eight weeks. Then, with the help of physical therapy, you can regain your strength and mobility and return to your favorite activities.
Restore Shoulder Mobility
If you’re experiencing shoulder bursitis, you may notice limited mobility and increased stress on your shoulder. To combat this, range-of-motion exercises can be helpful. By learning safe, controlled movements, you can minimize stress on your shoulder and arm and prevent further injury.
Our physical therapy team can teach you self-stretching techniques to decrease tension and restore normal shoulder movement.
Restore Muscle Strength and Coordination in Your Shoulder
Muscle weaknesses or imbalances can cause shoulder bursitis, so muscle-strengthening exercises are often recommended as part of our treatment plans for shoulder bursitis. After your functional movement assessment, we create a personalized resistance program to target the muscles that support the shoulder, considering factors such as your symptoms and overall condition. Improving muscle strength and coordination can play an essential role in reducing the risk of future shoulder injuries.
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and relieve pain. It is effective in treating shoulder bursitis and other shoulder pain conditions.
For shoulder bursitis, acupuncture can relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the shoulder joint. It can also help to improve the range of motion and promote the healing of the damaged bursa.
At Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, our acupuncturist works closely with the chiropractic and physical therapy team to develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs and part of your overall treatment strategy.
Acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment option for shoulder bursitis. It can help relieve pain and promote healing without cortisone injections, allowing you to return to your daily activities with less discomfort and better mobility.
How to Sleep With Shoulder Bursitis
Shoulder pain can make it challenging to find a comfortable position, especially if you’re used to sleeping on your side. In addition, sleeping on your front or back can cause discomfort if your arm is in the wrong position. So, what can you do to manage shoulder bursitis pain while sleeping?
Try Sleeping on Your Back
Shoulder pain can make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep. If you typically sleep on your back, this position can put extra pressure on your shoulder joint. Instead, try sleeping on your side with the affected arm across your stomach and your elbow bent to alleviate this discomfort. In addition, placing a small pillow underneath your arm can help lift it and reduce pressure on your shoulder. With this simple adjustment, you can get a more restful and comfortable night’s sleep.
Try Sleeping on the Unaffected Side
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and prefer to sleep on your side, you can make a few adjustments to your sleeping position. First, if the pain is only on one side, try sleeping on the opposite side. When lying on the non-affected side, place a pillow in front of your chest and another pillow on top of that, positioning it under your affected arm. This will elevate your arm and alleviate pressure on your shoulder joint.
Shoulder Bursitis v Shoulder Tendonitis
Shoulder bursitis and shoulder tendonitis are both painful conditions that can cause discomfort and swelling around the affected joint. Tendonitis occurs when the tendons become inflamed, while bursitis is caused by irritation and inflammation of the small fluid-filled sacs (bursa) around the joint. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of either condition to receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Although it is treated similarly initially to decrease inflammation, getting an accurate diagnosis from a qualified chiropractor or another healthcare provider is important as it influences the kinds and types of treatments that will be best for your condition.
Home Care for Shoulder Bursitis
If you’re experiencing shoulder bursitis, it’s important to rest your shoulder during the acute phase. This means avoiding activities that may have caused the inflammation, such as playing tennis or any activity that requires you to raise your arms overhead. Taking a break from these activities for a few days can help reduce inflammation. Sometimes, you may need to immobilize your arm completely with a sling. Along with rest, you can try other at-home treatments like Ice to alleviate shoulder bursitis.
Applying ice packs for up to 15 minutes, or until your shoulder gets numb and then taking the Ice off for at least 30 minutes during the acute phase can help reduce pain. Continuing this schedule for the first 24 hours after symptoms appear may be recommended.
TOPICAL GEL or CREAM DERMATOLOGICAL IRRITANTS
It works by helping to block or distract pain signals from going from your shoulder to your brain by chemically irritating the skin. They come in many forms, from icy feeling to warm or both.
How Long Does It Take To Recover from Shoulder Bursitis?
Recovering from shoulder bursitis is possible but takes time and effort. The severity of bursitis, how it occurred, when treatment is started, and adherence to prescribed exercises all play a role in the recovery time. Generally, recovery can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months, although treatments like Class IV Laser can accelerate this time considerably.
How is Shoulder Bursitis Diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, a chiropractic physician may perform a series of tests to determine if you have shoulder bursitis. These tests include Neer’s Test, Hawkins/Kennedy Impingement Test, Painful Arc, and Yocum’s Test. Based on the results of these tests, your chiropractor can begin a trial of conservative care to improve your symptoms.
However, suppose your symptoms worsen or you don’t respond to conservative treatment. In that case, your chiropractor may order imaging such as an x-ray, MRI, or a joint aspiration procedure if they suspect infection or gout. It’s important not to self-diagnose shoulder bursitis, as it can sometimes be more severe. Instead, seeking the care of an expert healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis is always the best course of action to prevent further damage or disease.
Get Help for Your Shoulder Bursitis at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago
We offer advanced treatment options, including High-intensity Class IV Laser, and an expert team of professionals, including chiropractors and acupuncturists, to help you feel better. In addition, we provide free consultations to see if we can help your shoulder bursitis; text or call us at 773.878.7330 or schedule an appointment online.