Subacromial Bursitis

Situation: Subacromial bursitis occurs when there is tissue damage and inflammation of the subacromial bursa, causing pain in your shoulder. A bursa is a small sac filled with lubricating fluid and designed to reduce friction between adjacent soft tissue or bony layers. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The subacromial bursa reduces friction between the bony part of your shoulder and the tendon that attaches your arm to your shoulder. When excessive stress is put on the bursa, irritation and inflammation may occur, resulting in subacromial bursitis.

Causes: Subacromial bursitis is usually caused by repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the subacromial bursa. This typically occurs following repetitive arm elevation activities, activities involving rotating the shoulder, lifting (especially overhead), pushing or pulling activities, or placing weight through the affected arm. Occasionally, damage to the subacromial bursa happens suddenly due to a direct blow to the point of the shoulder or a fall onto the shoulder, elbow, or outstretched hand.

Symptoms: People with subacromial bursitis typically experience pain at the top, front, back, or outer side of the shoulder. Pain may also radiate into the upper arm as far as the elbow. In less severe cases, patients may only experience an ache or stiffness in the shoulder that increases with rest following activities placing strain on the bursa.

Treatment: Treatment options can include chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy. The chiropractor will diagnose your condition and determine what type of treatments and modalities are appropriate for you.

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