What Is the Best Way to Treat Bursitis of the Shoulder?


Quick Answer

According to Cedars-Sinai, reducing inflammation and resting the shoulder are the first steps in treating shoulder bursitis; medication and physical therapy are additional nonsurgical treatments for the condition. A minimally invasive surgical procedure called subacromial decompression is also sometimes administered to treat shoulder bursitis, but it is generally used as a last resort.

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What Is the Best Way to Treat Bursitis of the Shoulder?
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Full Answer

Cedars-Sinai states that the first step in treating shoulder bursitis is to reduce the inflammation by avoiding activities that involve stretching or reaching. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil or Motrin, are also incorporated to reduce the inflammation and pain.

PhysioWorks recommends that physical therapy be incorporated after inflammation subsides to prevent the issues with shoulder stability, rotator cuff strength, muscle length and posture that can cause shoulder bursitis. A physiotherapist should be consulted for specific exercises that address these issues. These methods include massage, dry needling, joint mobilizations and acupuncture.

According to Cedars-Sinai, a cortisone or steroid injection is a medicinal option for shoulder bursitis. This medicine treats swelling but should be administered with care to avoid weakened tendons. A surgical option for shoulder bursitis is subacromial decompression, where a small incision is made with a probe to remove inflamed bone and spurs to create more room for rotator cuff tendons.

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