Shoulder Bursitis - Treatments

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What kinds of treatment did you receive for your shoulder bursitis? Were they effective?

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How is shoulder bursitis treated?

The treatment of any form of bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection. Infection of a shoulder bursa is uncommon, and bursitis that develops there is usually from injury. Bursitis that is not infected (as from injury or an underlying rheumatic disease) can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Occasionally, it requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. This procedure involves removal of the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions and can be performed in the doctor's office. Sometimes the fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Noninfectious shoulder bursitis can also be treated with an injection of cortisone medication into the swollen bursa. This is sometimes done at the same time as the aspiration procedure. Physical therapy can sometimes be used to aid the recovery from bursitis, especially when it is accompanied by a frozen shoulder.

Infectious (septic) bursitis, again which is uncommon in the shoulder, requires even further evaluation and aggressive treatment. The bursal fluid can be examined in the laboratory to identify the microbes causing the infection. Septic bursitis requires antibiotic therapy, sometimes intravenously. Repeated aspiration of the inflamed fluid may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy) may also be necessary. Generally, the adjacent joint functions normally after the surgical wound heals.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Brittsmama, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I have had pain in my shoulder area for approximately 4-6 weeks. Certain movements put me in the 7-8 range for pain. I went to the doctor today, and was diagnosed with bursitis in my shoulder. I was given a shot in my arm containing three meds a numbing medicine, an ant-inflamatory, and the other for pain. I was told the pain should subside in 3-5 days.

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Comment from: yachtie2, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I had an x-ray guided cortisone injection for my shoulder bursitis, 6 days ago. I felt immediate pain relief but on the 2nd day a massive migraine like headache for which I took Maxalt melt tablets (I have had this before), but this time my stomach started to rumble like a train and my mouth felt like I had bile in it. I couldn"t eat properly and even water has been difficult. This is now the 6th day and I have a small amount of pain in my shoulder but nothing like it was and I am still feeling like I have a fever, I'm not sleeping properly or eating. I am very tired and although I tried to do my exercises for the shoulder my stomach was saying lie down or you"ll throw up. I am not sure if this is normal and I have had just ordinary cortisone injections before with no reaction other than the headache. The injury is 5 years old and has had intensive treatment at the start and then none for 4 years and then more intensive treatment. I'm not sure if it was worth it but I couldn"t lift a jug of water before, now I can get it off the bench a little; no pouring yet.

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