SHOULDER BURSITIS shoulder-bursitis-treatment-and-symptoms


written by Charlotte Margry

What is Shoulder Bursitis?

Your shoulder complex has many bursae (fluid filled sacs) that help to reduce friction and facilitate gliding between the tendons, ligaments and bones in this area. When there is a narrowing of the joint space due to poor posture, shoulder position/biomechanics or a trauma (a fall), then these bursae can become inflamed. The most commonly affected is the subacromial bursa.


Common Symptoms include:

– A pain on the outside of your shoulder

– Pain with overhead movements

– Pain when lying/sleeping on the affected side

– These symptoms typically develop and worsen gradually over time

Why Have I Had This Pain For Months?

Bursitis is a very irritable condition. You will have your ups and downs, but it is important to be consistent with your treatment and rehabilitation. It also has many associated disorders such as a rotator cuff muscle injury and/or shoulder impingement. To fully eliminate your bursitis these other conditions must also be addressed.

3 Steps To Fix Your Shoulder:

  • GET SOME TREATMENT! Here at Melbourne Muscular Therapies we use our highly regarded Solidified Connective Tissue Release (SCT Release) techniques to eliminate shoulder pain. It is important to treat the muscles that contribute to poor shoulder position, as well as other areas where you may be feeling pain.

– Upper crossed syndrome is a common postural dysfunction that can lead to Shoulder Bursitis pain. When your levator scapula, upper trapezius, sub occipital, pectoral, and abdominal muscles are overactive they pull your shoulder, head and neck forward (narrowing the joint space). Then, when you want to perform an overhead movement or lie on the affected side your shoulder is repeatedly jammed in the joint as it has no space to move.

– In an ideal situation, the shoulder glides within the joint between the tendons and ligaments. However, when there is limited space it rubs on the bursa. This friction leads to inflammation of the bursa, which is a protective mechanism. When this irritation continues for a long-time that niggle in your shoulder lingers and gradually worsens.

– By reducing this imbalance between your anterior and posterior muscles, you will reduce the strain on your shoulder joint and be able to maintain a better posture.

  • POSTURAL CORRECTION! – at the desk, when standing, when walking, all the time!

When we work at a desk for prolonged periods of time it is inevitable that we will start to slump and start to lean towards the screen, our chins will poke forward and our shoulder joints will be compressed. Try it now if you don’t believe me. Once this happens, we are narrowing the joint space in our shoulders, we are putting a lot of stress on our rotator cuff muscles and we are straining through our upper back muscles as they want to pull us back into a better “more neutral” position.

These simple steps can significantly reduce the amount of pain and dysfunction in your body.

– Place a lumbar roll between the chair and our lower back – this will prop you up and tilt your spine into a better position.

– Draw in your lower abdominals and breathe deeply into your ribcage – this will extend your thoracic spine (mid-back) and prevent any rolling in of your shoulders.

– Tucking your chin in – this will hold your neck in a neutral position and avoid any forward slumping of your head and upper back.

– Strengthen your back muscles – you will be able to hold yourself in a good posture for longer.



It is vitally important that we activate and strengthen the scapula stabiliser muscles as these will help to correct your postural issues and muscular imbalances around the shoulder complex. This neuromuscular re-patterning occurs in three stages: static holds in a neutral posture, dynamic contractions and then high level full-body functional rehabilitation

– Setting and stabilising your shoulder blade into the correct position before performing any movements (especially overhead) you will open up your shoulder joint allowing these movements and can significantly reduce your symptoms

– Progressing to functional activities is essential after the initial rehab as functional exercises incorporate full body movements, which are much more relevant to daily life.



If you have been diagnosed with bursitis or suffer from the symptoms described above – come in and see the team at Melbourne Muscular Therapies –

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