Treatments for Shoulder Bursitis

By | March 1, 2019

Of the millions of sufferers that visit the doctor every year with a shoulder complaint, a high percentage will have shoulder bursitis. Some of these will be tennis players, swimmers and baseball players – sports that involve strenuous and intense workouts for the shoulder. Others will be rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who have developed growths that will cause an irritation leading to bursitis. This is where shoulder bursitis stretches come in handy.


They will complain of shoulder pain that is prevalent even at rest, frequently waking them from sleep. Certainly they will complain of shoulder pain whilst moving the joint, especially when trying to lift the arm above head height.

The doctor can usually diagnose shoulder bursitis by examination and discussion of the sufferers lifestyle. Sometime however an x-ray may be required. This will confirm the diagnosis. In the shoulder, the bones and tendons are cushioned from each other by a fluid filled sac called the bursa. The bursa can become inflamed and fill with too much fluid, this is shoulder bursitis.

The immediate reaction for shoulder bursitis is to prevent or reduce the swelling by application of an ice pack. After a few days heat can then be used to help reduce pain. A sling during these early days can help prevent movement of the joint allowing the swelling of the bursitis to reduce.

The initial recovery phase involves resting the shoulder joint. For sporting injuries this will necessitate the cessation of any further sporting activity to prevent the injury from becoming worse. As the pain subsides over a few days, then activity can resume at a steady pace.

Shoulder bursitis stretches are an important part of rehabilitation following a shoulder bursitis injury. Sufferers will be advised to carry out regular stretching exercises that will work the joint without over doing it. A typical shoulder bursitis stretch will involve light shoulder work only. For example the arm of the troubled shoulder can brought across the body pointing in the opposite direction, with the inside of the elbow against the chest.

The other hand is brought up against the elbow, pushing it lightly into the chest. The will cause a slight stretch in the shoulder joint. If no pain is felt, this stretch can be intensified by moving the pushing hand down the troubled arm, towards the wrist, pushing as it works its way down the arm. The additional leverage this exerts works the shoulder more. There should be no bouncing movements, and as soon as pain is felt in the shoulder, the pressing hand should release pressure. This is a common warm up exercise for many sports and is a good recovery model for sporting shoulder bursitis.

There are many shoulder bursitis stretches, but they will all involve a light stretch that the sufferer can control easily so that the pressure can be relieved as soon as the shoulder starts to get sore. For example, whilst seated a sufferer can lift both arms over and behind his or her head and grabbing the top of the chair back or clasping hands behind the head. Lifting the hands while pressing the back into the chair will work the shoulder joint.

A final shoulder bursitis stretch involves putting the palms of the hands against a wall and taking up a lunge stance, as if trying to push a wall or hold a falling wall up. Increasingly lean forward onto the hands while keeping the elbows bent. This is another way to stretch the shoulder while remaining in full control of the stretch.

Regardless of which shoulder bursitis stretches are used, it is important to retain full control of the movement, that is to say, avoid the use of exercise machines or weights. The body itself is enough to work the shoulder joint and achieve full recovery with these shoulder bursitis stretches.