What treatments are used for bursitis in the shoulder?


Quick Answer

Treatments for bursitis in the shoulder include taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, resting the shoulder and icing the area, according to WebMD. If these home treatments do not work, steroids, physical therapy or surgery may be recommended.

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Full Answer

A patient should contact his doctor if home treatment for bursitis does not cause the condition to improve in about a week, advises WebMD. Prescription drugs, such as steroids, are usually the first thing a doctor suggests after failed home treatment. Steroids are injected directly into the site of the injury and can quickly decrease the pain and inflammation that often occur with bursitis. Injections are usually effective and can be repeated, but they are often avoided because of potential side effects.

Physical therapy that includes exercises that work on the range-of-motion of the shoulder is also a common treatment option for bursitis, explains WebMD. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail, but it is rarely needed.

Bursitis along with a fever over 102 degrees F, redness, swelling or warmth indicates a possible infection, and the patient should visit his doctor, states WebMD. Other signs of an infection include general illness, the inability to move the shoulder and multiple sites of pain.

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