Shoulder Impingement

Bursitis
What is Shoulder Bursitis?
Shoulder bursitis is an inflamed shoulder bursa. Your bursa is a fluid-filled sac that helps to reduce friction in your shoulder spaces. You have several bursae within your shoulder. Your subacromial bursa is the most commonly inflamed of the shoulder bursa.

Subacromial bursitis is a common cause of shoulder pain that is usually related to shoulder impingement of your bursa between your rotator cuff tendons and bone (acromion). Your subdeltoid bursa is a less commonly inflamed shoulder bursa.

What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Bursitis?
Shoulder bursitis commonly presents with the following symptoms:

  • Gradual onset of your shoulder symptoms over weeks or months.
  • Pain on the outside of your shoulder.
  • Pain may spread down your arm towards the elbow or wrist.
  • Pain made worse when lying on your affected shoulder.
  • Pain made worse when using your arm above your head.
  • Painful arc of movement – shoulder pain felt between 60 – 90° of the arm moving up and outwards.
  • When your arm is by your side there is minimal pain and above 90° relief of pain.
  • Shoulder pain with activities such as washing hair, reaching up to a high shelf in the cupboard.

Tendinitis
Shoulder tendinitis is an inflammation injury to the tendons of your shoulder’s rotator cuff. Because inflammation is not always present in injuries to the shoulder tendons, this group of injuries are medically known as a rotator cuff tendinopathy or tendinopathies.

What Causes Shoulder Tendonitis?
The most common cause of shoulder tendonitis is repeated microtrauma to the rotator cuff tendons rather than a specific one-off trauma.

Rotator Cuff Impingement, where your rotator cuff tendon impacts against the acromion bone, should not occur during normal shoulder function. However, when repeated shoulder impingement occurs, your rotator cuff tendon becomes inflamed and swollen, a condition called shoulder tendonitis.

Shoulder bursitis commonly occurs in combination with rotator cuff tendonitis.

What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Tendonitis?
Shoulder tendonitis commonly has the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder clicking and/or an arc of shoulder pain when your arm is about shoulder height.
  • Pain when lying on the sore shoulder or lifting with a straight arm.
  • Shoulder pain or clicking when move your hand behind your back or head.
  • Shoulder and upper arm pain (potentially as far as your elbow).
  • As your shoulder tendonitis deteriorates, your shoulder pain may even be present at rest.