Shoulder bursitis is an inflammation or injury of bursa present in shoulder joints. Bursae are the tiny fluid filled sacs found in synovial joints such as shoulder joints. It acts as a cushion and prevents wearing and tearing of bones, muscles and tendons during movement. Bursae serve to reduce friction between the bones of the joint.Woman With Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis occurs commonly in the joints between shoulder blade and collar bone. Shoulder bursitis can lead to pain of shoulder joints and reduces the range of movement.

When a shoulder bursa gets irritated, it becomes inflamed and enlarges in size. In such situation there is less space in the shoulder for muscles and tendons to move around, which can lead to severe pain and reduce the movement in the shoulder.

Shoulder bursitis is caused due to chronic injury of the joint while playing sports or fall. Individuals with diabetic and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop shoulder bursitis. Shoulder bursitis can lead to long term health problems such as cartilage injury, nerve infection and other co-morbid conditions.


  • Swelling and pain in shoulder joint
  • Tenderness of surrounding tissues
  • Reduced movement of shoulder joint
  • Pain when shoulder is raised or touched.


Treatment of the condition aims at reducing inflammation and restoring the lost range of movement of shoulder joint. Ice fomentation, anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids injections are given to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, surgical treatment is adopted to remove the possible infectious fluid to alleviate pain and swelling.

Individuals with shoulder bursitis should reduce the movement to avoid pain. Doing some mild exercises can prevent the joints from becoming stiffer.