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Introduction to Shoulder Impingement and Bursitis

There are small fluid-filled sacs in the shoulder called bursae that act as cushions between the bones and soft tissues which help reduce friction in joints. As time goes on, these bursae can wear down or become inflamed because of pressure on the joint. Bursae are located near the joints, and bursitis occurs when the soft tissues become inflamed and create joint pain. Bursitis in the shoulder can be caused by the arm being lifted and feeling a painful pinching sensation in the shoulder which limits movement. This injury can eventually lead to a tear in the rotator cuff and the need for surgery.

Bursitis Causes

Much like a rope fraying as it moves through an old rusted pulley, the impingement is caused by a tendon as it rubs against a bone called the acromion. This fraying of the tendon is often caused by:

  • Repeated over head movements
  • High-risk activities such as yard work, carpentry, shoveling, scrubbing, contact sports or frequent poor posture
  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • Fracture or a broken bone
  • Tumors
  • Infection
  • Nerve-related problems

Bursitis Symptoms

The most common symptoms people have are:

  • Pain, which may be more pronounced at night
  • Reduced range of motion in the affected arm
  • Pain in should when sleeping on the affected side
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Bursitis Treatment

Bursitis treatment depends on the cause, which may be due to overuse, injury or infection. Generally, treatment begins with conservative methods, such as avoiding activities that aggravate the condition and resting the injured area. Over-the-counter NSAID medicines may be useful in pain relief. A doctor may prescribe medication to reduce inflammation, such as steroidal drugs which work quickly to decrease inflammation or pain. These steroids may be injected at the site of the injury or taken orally.

If traditional methods of treatment fail, surgical drainage is a good option, although rarely necessary. Doctors will use a small camera to survey the injury and find the area that needs to be drained. Several small incisions will be made and the doctor will clean any inflamed or damaged tissue that may be causing the pain. Once the surgery is finished and the injury repaired, the surgical staff will close the incisions with stitches and then bandage the area.

Bursitis can be treated with minimally invasive procedures at West Medical. We ensure long lasting results that ensure effective treatment for your bursitis condition. To learn more about bursitis treatment in Los Angeles, please contact West Medical at (855) 690-0565, and our helpful medical staff will answer any questions you may have.

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