Last Updated on Mar 27, 2019

What is Bursitis Shoulder?

Shoulder pain or bursitis in the shoulder or shoulder impingement is caused when the bursa (a fluid-filled sac) is swollen between the bone of the arm and the shoulder tip. The swelling or inflammation of bursa causes pain in the shoulder and is called shoulder bursitis. This clinical condition is part of the syndrome ‘subacromial pain syndrome’ or SAPS. The term SAPS indicates difficulties in the shoulder where pain is experienced especially when lifting the shoulder or following the action. The swollen bursa and tendons between the arm and shoulder bones narrow the space of movement causing pain.

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint that consists of ligaments, muscles, bursae, and tendons. Injury or trauma to this complex network can cause different forms of inflammation, viz. rotator cuff tendonitis, bursitis, or biceps tendinitis.

Shoulder pain is observed in 7% to 34% of adults with a high incidence in women over the age of 45. The ball and socket joint of the shoulder is stabilized by ligaments, bursae, and rotator cuff muscles. When there is excessive strain to the rotator cuff muscles, the bursae are affected with resulting shoulder pain.

Rotator cuff refers to the group of four muscles and their tendons that give strength and stability to the shoulder movement. They include supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.


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