To understand what bursitis is, it is useful to know where exactly the bursa is in your body.
The bursa is located between a tendon and the bone in a joint. A joint is a connection between two bones that allows you to move. The bursa is actually a kind of cushion with moisture, which ensures that during the movement of the joint, there is no friction between the tendon and the bones that meet there. A bursitis, therefore, occurs when such a bursa is inflamed. This can happen after a fall, but inflammation is usually caused by long-term and / or frequent irritation of the bursa.
What are symptoms of bursitis in your shoulder?
Bursitis generally develops gradually. The complaints slowly get worse as a result. For example, if you have fallen on your arm, it may be that the complaints arise spontaneously.
The following shoulder complaints can indicate that you have bursitis:
- You have shoulder pain: this can be at the top, front, back, and outside of your shoulder. The pain can radiate from your upper arm to the elbow.
- Your shoulder feels stiff.
- You can move your shoulder less well.
- Your skin at the site of the inflamed bursa is red and feels warm.
- There is a swelling at the site of the inflamed bursa.
To find out if you actually have bursitis, your doctor can take a sample of the fluid from the bursa or take an X-ray / MRI scan.
What exercises can help against bursitis?
If you have bursitis, it is best to see a doctor or physiotherapist. He or she can recommend a specific treatment for you. There are a number of exercises that can help keep your shoulder moving.
Lean your uninjured arm on a table or bench. Let your injured arm hang down gently (take a bottle of water in this hand if necessary). Then rotate clockwise and counterclockwise with your arm. Keep your shoulder low and relaxed. Then swing the water bottle very lightly from front to back. Make sure you don’t feel any pain in your shoulder.
For this exercise, face your face to a wall or door. You put your hands shoulder-width against the wall. Then you gently crawl up with both your hands. Hold this for several seconds before going down again.
You can do this exercise several times during the day while sitting or standing. Let your arms hang at your sides – so don’t lift them! Then make circles with your shoulders back. This can be done simultaneously or alternately (if one shoulder is at the top, the other shoulder is at the bottom). Then do the same, but turn them forward. This exercise affects the mobility of your entire shoulder girdle as well as your back and neck vertebrae and your back and neck muscles.
Are you unsure where the pain in your shoulder comes from? Read more about back pain, muscle pain, and soured muscles to find out if this is a cause and what you can do best.
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Lifting your bag hardly succeeds, let alone throwing it over your shoulder. Grab a coffee from the top shelf? Forget it. Your shoulder is in your way! Fortunately, shoulder complaints usually go away on their own. But is it better to keep your shoulder still or move? You can read that in this article!
What is shoulder pain?
With shoulder complaints, you have problems with your shoulder joint. The pain can also radiate to your shoulder blades, arm, hand, or neck. Moving, such as lifting your arm, is often difficult and painful. You can also have pain in your shoulder at rest. Lying on your shoulder, for example, when you are sleeping, may not be possible due to the pain. Because you can rollover at night and still lie on your shoulder and arm, you may have more pain in your shoulder and arm at night.
What is the cause of pain in your shoulder?
Your shoulder can start to hurt from straining. Acute shoulder pain comes on suddenly, for example, if you lifted something too heavy or made a crazy movement during exercise. You may also experience shoulder discomfort if you overload it for a long time with repeated movements.
The overload causes an inflammatory response in the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. That inflammation causes pain.
Have you got pain in your shoulder after falling? Maybe you have a bursitis.
How long does shoulder pain last?
Most shoulder complaints disappear on their own after two to six weeks. Recovery usually goes quickly if the shoulder pain has an unambiguous cause, such as a minor sports injury or if your shoulder has made a strange movement. It usually lasts longer if the pain is the result of long-term overload.
What can you do with shoulder complaints?
You may prefer to keep your shoulder still when it hurts. But it is important to keep moving. This will prevent your shoulder from getting stiff and getting stuck.
Just try to keep doing your daily activities. However, it is wise to avoid too heavy a load that clearly aggravates the pain. Also, avoid repetitive movements.
To relieve the pain, you can take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen. You can also cool or heat your shoulder with a hot water bottle. This may feel nice, but it does not speed up the recovery process.
How can you avoid shoulder pain?
If your daily work demands a lot from your shoulders, good muscle condition is important to prevent shoulder complaints. Also, pay attention to the correct technique for your work: for example, pay attention to your posture when you are at the computer all day or learn correct lifting techniques if you carry a lot of heavy stuff.
When exercising, ensure a good warm-up and cool-down. Unfortunately, acute injuries can never be completely prevented.
When should you see a doctor?
Shoulder complaints usually disappear on their own. Call your doctor if:
- The pain does not subside after two weeks.
- The pain is very severe and gets worse.
- The pain gets worse when you cough.
- You suspect you have an injury, for example, due to sports or an accident.
- Your shoulder will hurt when you exert yourself.