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Shoulder Inflammation Treatment

July 6, 2011

in Inflammation

Shoulder bursitis is a term that you hear with relative frequency, however the truth is that most people who hear the term don’t really know what it means. In fact, many of the people who suffer from shoulder bursitis don’t know what it means – all they know is that their shoulder hurts.  This post will help you gain a better understanding of this painful condition.


Your body has tiny sacs that are filled with fluid all over the place. These are carefully placed between tissues of the body so they can act as a smooth surface that reduces friction between the tissues. These are called bursa or bursa sacs.

These sacs are just fine as long as they are healthy. However, sometimes an injury occurs to harm them and other times chronic inflammation can strike to damage these sacs.  When injury or inflammation harms one of the bursa sacs around the shoulder, the result is shoulder bursitis.

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There are more than 150 bursa sacks distributed throughout your body, however the highest percentage of these sacks are near the larger joints. These include your knees, hips, elbows and shoulders.

The cause of shoulder bursitis is usually a chronic underlying rheumatic condition or an injury of some time. The injury doesn’t have to be a major one to cause pain however. People have been known to have shoulder bursitis problems that stem from lifting a bag of groceries that may have been too heavy.

Shoulder Inflammation Treatment

The most common method used to to identify shoulder inflammation / bursitis is through the localized swelling, pain or tenderness in the area. If the inflammation has been chronic, sometimes an x-ray can identify the calcifications that are causing the problems.  An MRI machine can also be used to identify the problem.

The typical shoulder inflammation treatment is similar to other types of inflammation problems. The first type of treatment that is usually recommended for a non-infected shoulder joint is the use of an ice compress and rest. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may also be prescribed, based upon the extent of the problem.

If that kind of shoulder inflammation treatment isn’t effective, it may be necessary to remove the fluid from the sac. This type of procedure is done in a doctor’s office and they use a needle to remove the fluid.  Occasionally, an injection of a cortisone shot to the area can also be part of the treatment. Physical therapy may also be needed.

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