Shoulder Bursitis Treatment

Shoulder bursitis can be a painful condition due to inflamed bursae. Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the tendons, muscles, and bones near the joints. Bursae reduce friction between the moving parts of your body. They are lined with synovial cells, which secrete proteins and collagen. The synovial fluid functions as a lubricant for the moving parts of your body. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it causes bursitis. Bursitis treatment consists of massage, mobilizations, exercises, and can prevent it from becoming a chronic issue.

Chronic bursitis can be due to repetitive movement, while acute bursitis is usually due to a direct blow to the shoulder. This can result in blood leaking into the bursa, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling.


The symptoms of shoulder bursitis include:

  • Pain that increases with pressure or movement
  • Loss of movement
  • Tenderness even without any movement
  • Swelling

If you recently had Septic Bursitis, this infection could cause even more severe symptoms listed below:

  • Fever
  • The affected site feels hot to touch
  • Redness in the affected site

We recommend an early intervention to alleviate pain and restore mobility. The longer you delay treatment, the more severe your symptoms can become. The following symptoms indicate that your condition has worsened:

  • Joint pain which restricts all movement
  • Sharp and shooting pain
  • Pain that lasts longer than two weeks
  • Fever
  • Excessive bruising, swelling, redness, or rash in the affected site


Following are common causes and risk factors of developing bursitis:

  • Bursitis is common in people older than 40
  • Repeated pressure on or overusing a certain joint
  • High-risk physical activities, such as raking, carpentry, gardening, tennis, painting, shoveling, throwing, golf, and skiing
  • Maintaining the wrong sitting position and standing stance for long durations
  • Not stretching enough before working out
  • Sudden injury

As you get older, your tendons can become weaker, and their ability to handle stress is reduced greatly. Your tendons can lose their elasticity and are more prone to tearing. Other common conditions, such as arthritis or osteopenia, can place extra pressure on the bursa and result in bursitis.

Your risk of developing bursitis also increases if you react negatively to medications or experience inflammation of the joints caused by gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and thyroid disorders. If you have shoulder bursitis, an initial evaluation consisting of diagnosis, followed by a comprehensive bursitis treatment plan and home exercises, can help you get back to your regular routine. 


If you are coming to Specialized Physical Therapy for shoulder bursitis physical therapy, we start by performing a thorough physical examination. The purpose of this examination is to determine shoulder mobility, muscle flexibility, strength, and the ability to perform everyday activities (ADL’s), such as walking, getting up, and lifting your arm or leg.

We will mobilize and range the affected joint to determine your pain level, which is followed by other tests to determine if other areas are affected. Performing a comprehensive evaluation helps us understand what caused the symptoms and how we can proceed with treatment.

Treatment and Exercises

Specialized Physical Therapy can provide you with relief, allowing you to resume your day-to-day activities once again. The number of physical therapy sessions depends on the severity of your condition. We personalize your treatment plan, tailoring it to you and your goals for therapy.

We will get you moving and grooving in no time through our Home Exercise Program (HEP). Our program involves manual therapy and exercises, including daily stretches and postural training, aimed at reducing pain and the chance of recurrence, improving range of motion, flexibility, and strength, and speeding recovery time. Get back in the game and start treatment today with Specialized Physical Therapy by calling us @ 201-773-8851 or email us HERE.

Request a free consultation or give us a call to get started!