Experiencing pain from shoulder bursitis? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, I recently got to share some insights about shoulder bursitis with the folks over at Bustle. They reached out to several experts in treating shoulder pain and asked them to share a few exercises and stretches to help decrease the pain associated with shoulder bursitis. They’re article ended up including 7 exercises in total. You can find that article here.
Below, I’ll share the original questions they asked for the article and my answers. Also, here’s a video I did on these 3 stretches:
What is shoulder bursitis? What causes it and what are some
Bursitis simply means inflammation (itis) of the Bursae. The shoulder bursae is a small, fluid-filled sac in the shoulder that reduces friction between moving parts in the shoulder. The most commonly affected bursae is the subacromial bursae. When people say shoulder bursitis, that’s usually the one they’re talking about. This bursae reduces friction and protects the supraspinatus tendon (one of the 4 muscles of the rotator cuff). Acute bursitis in the shoulder typically results from overuse or repetitive shoulder movements.
Typically, these involve overhead movements. Symptoms typically include pain, swelling, reduced movement or motion, and weakness in the shoulder. Limited overhead movement results, either from pain or from stiffness. Some people experience a sharp, sudden pain with certain movements.
Please share an exercise that can help with shoulder bursitis
1) The posterior shoulder stretch
2) Anterior Shoulder stretch:
3) Bonus – Overhead Stretch:
Shoulder Bursitis: Summary
As we often say in the clinic, there’s never one single thing that takes away shoulder pain, or any other pain. Shoulder bursitis, like most injuries and conditions, takes some time to heal and for pain to completely go away. However, one thing we do know from the research: movement is the best pain medication we have available to us. Stretches, exercises, and even normal activities like dressing and doing household chores can all help decrease pain. In fact, there’s some research out there that suggests people who injuries their back and spend a day or two in the bed resting and not moving are more likely to develop chronic pain. A person who experiences a back injury and continues to stay active (without over-doing it) has a lower chance of developing chronic back pain. So, if you experience shoulder pain, start moving! And, if you want guidance about what movements to do and which to avoid, schedule an appointment with a physical or occupational therapist near you.
Be sure to check out our resources and courses to learn more about pain, movement, and living an active, pain-free life!