Patient Comments: Shoulder Bursitis - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your shoulder bursitis?

Comment from: Bev, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I developed sudden pain in my upper arm towards the shoulder, about 7 months ago. I was only lifting groceries from the car. I assumed I had just pulled a muscle and figured there was no point seeing a doctor. After 6 weeks of agony, unable to lift my arm more than 2 inches out towards the side, and severe pain every night when trying to sleep, I finally went to the doctor. I had an ultrasound which showed some problem with the tendon in the shoulder and inflamed bursa. As I have kidney disease I cannot take non-steroidal pain relief like ibuprofen, naproxen, so there is no adequate pain relief, Panadol does not help. I have been having injections of cortisone every few weeks (under ultrasound) it is a miracle effect but obvious not curing the problem as it returns after a few weeks. My doctor said it is not good to have too many so I don't know what is left now. I am 50, my 4 and 6 year old grandchildren live with me so I need to be very "physical." Getting tops off is really difficult, lifting anything even light, there are so many limitations that cause severe pain. Now been 7 months with no light at the end of the tunnel.

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Comment from: Tania, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have been battling with bursitis and also a partial tear of a tendon in the shoulder for the last 5 months now. My range of movement is limited, can't sleep on that side, have general aching around the shoulder, chest, back and down the arm. Sharp aching pain down the top part of my arm also is consistent and gets worse with exercise/general use. I saw a Physiotherapist for a couple of months however he irritated the bursitis by trying to manipulate the shoulder and I've not gone back. My liver isn't functioning properly now and the doctor says I may need surgery. I just want this to go away so my life can get back to normal.

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Comment from: Dylan, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: October 09

I'm 17 years old and I do year 12 Physical Education in high school. The other day our class did a skill development activity, which involved throwing tennis balls with our non-dominant hand. I had always had a slight pain in my shoulder whilst performing physical activity, but in doing the skill development activity, I noticed that whenever I threw the ball, my shoulder clicked, and a slight pain surged around my muscles. I also noticed that whenever I do overhead weight training, my shoulder clicked then as well. I went to the doctor and sure enough, I was told I had shoulder bursitis. So, my symptoms of shoulder bursitis exist mainly during throwing, and overhead activities.

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Comment from: Mary Mc, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I've had bursitis in my right shoulder for a few years and I have been able to live with it. About six weeks ago I woke up and could barely raise my left arm. Pain got worse and when I shook out a sheet to put it in the dryer, the pain in my shoulder was unbearable. Couldn't raise my arm at all. Off to the emergency room the next day. I was diagnosed with a calcified tendon and bursitis. Nothing helps the pain and I have to sleep with pillows under both shoulders. Oddly enough it feels better to sleep with my arms above my head. At 49, I never thought I would feel this old.

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Comment from: Paula, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I have had shoulder bursitis for about 6 months. The pain is mostly in the top of the shoulder, and to move my arm back causes the most pain. The pain radiates around my arm and is like a a dull ache, and the top of the shoulder is very sore to touch. I have been unable to sleep on my left side because of the pain, and the pain has woken me at night. Today I went and had X-rays and a CT scan, and they said that the tendons and bursa were both inflamed, so I had a steroid injection. The doctor did say that relief is different for each person, it can be very temporary or it can last for some time. So it remains to be seen what my results are, I am hoping for the latter.

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Comment from: Linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I have had left shoulder bursitis for about six months now. I have pain nearly all the time and restricted range of movement in my left arm. I can't sleep on my left side. After about 8 weeks of anti-inflammatories, I had a cortisone injection. After about three days it slowly relieved the symptoms and this lasted for about a week (although if I used the arm at all pain would return). The pain came back, and I was told I would have to wait three months between injections. So, I am now on a course of stronger anti-inflammatories, and the pain is still constant. I will be seeing an orthopedic surgeon next week -- maybe more imaging and possible surgery.

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Shoulder Bursitis - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with shoulder bursitis.
Shoulder Bursitis - Treatments Question: What kinds of treatment did you receive for your shoulder bursitis? Were they effective?
Shoulder Bursitis - Prevention Question: Please share suggestions for preventing shoulder strain and bursitis.

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