A bursa is a fluid filled sac that reduces friction in joint spaces. There are several bursa in the shoulder joint, including the subacromial bursa. When the subacromial bursa becomes inflamed it is termed subacromial bursitis. Subacromial bursitis is commonly associated with shoulder impingement syndrome, when the tendon of the shoulder is impinged or compressed underneath the acromion bone.
Shoulder bursitis will often present with gradual shoulder pain over weeks to months. The pain may be worsened with raising your arm over your head or by lying on the affected side. Subacromial bursitis occurs more often in patients who participate in repetitive overhead activities, such as tennis players or weight lifters. A medical professional should make the diagnosis of bursitis as the symptoms can be similar to other painful conditions involving the rotator cuff or neck.
The diagnosis of subacromial bursitis can generally be made by physical examination but will sometimes require imaging such as X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound evaluation.
The treatment of subacromial bursitis requires a multi-faceted approach that includes alterations in activity, physical therapy, medications, and possible injections. Injections can be done under ultrasound guidance to assure the correct placement of the medication to the appropriate bursa.
If you live or you are visiting the Lehigh Valley region, including Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton areas and you are suffering from a painful or disabling neurologic or musculoskeletal condition, the medical providers at NERA Spine, Sports & Pain Medicine may be able to help. Please consider making an appointment by calling (610) 954-9400 or schedule a doctor’s visit Online.