Shoulder bursitis: Close look on the indications

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Shoulder bursitis involves inflammation of the bursa that functions as a cushion amidst the shoulder bones and tendons. The condition is often brought about by sports injuries or occupational injuries and becomes prevalent with age.

Even though the indications of shoulder bursitis generally start out as mild pain or diminished strength, it can become severe without any form of treatment.

What are the usual indications of shoulder bursitis?


Shoulder pain is likely to arise during certain shoulder movements or activities.

Shoulder pain is likely to arise during certain shoulder movements or activities. There is discomfort if the arm is raised or moved downward from an elevated position and can arise abruptly when raising or grasping for an object. Even raising the arm overhead can trigger pain.

In some cases, the discomfort can radiate from the front part of the shoulder down the side of the arm. If shoulder bursitis becomes worse, there is pain even while at rest or during night time while sleeping. The pain can become intense that it can awaken the individual from sleep, especially if he/she turns over onto the affected shoulder.


Shoulder bursitis triggers the inflammation of the bursa and tendons in the shoulder region. Once the structures swell, they become thick and take up more space. The increased pressure on the tendons leads to further inflammation.

In most cases, there is localized swelling and tenderness in the front or exterior side of the shoulder and warm to the touch.

Reduced motion and strength

An individual with shoulder bursitis has reduced strength and motion which makes it hard to move the shoulder and arm.

The upper arm and shoulder is weaker than normal, making it difficult to lift, pull or push. It is also difficulty to engage in activities that necessitate placing the arm behind the back. In severe cases, frozen shoulder can develop.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on shoulder bursitis is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this type of joint condition by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.

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