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Shoulder Bursitis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Shoulder bursitis

is inflammation of the bursa in your shoulder. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a bone and a tendon. A tendon is a cord of strong tissue that connects muscles to bones.

Shoulder Anatomy

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have increased redness, pain, and swelling.
  • Your symptoms do not improve with treatment.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment

may include any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
  • A steroid injection will help decrease pain and swelling.
  • A bursectomy is surgery to remove your bursa. It may done if other treatments do not work.

Self-care:

  • Rest your shoulder as much as possible to decrease pain and swelling. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • Apply ice on your shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Apply heat on your shoulder for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms.
  • Find a comfortable sleep position. Sleep on the side that is not injured. You may be more comfortable if you sleep on your stomach or back.
  • Go to physical therapy as directed. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Prevent another shoulder injury:

Always warm up and stretch before you exercise. This will help loosen your muscles and decrease stress on your shoulder. Cool down after you exercise.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Shoulder Bursitis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

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