Bursitis of the shoulder

Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid - filled pouch which lies beneath the bone and gives protection, as in the knee where the bursa protects the front of the knee cap. The knee and elbow are the most common for suffering bursa but they can also appear under hamstring tendons, in the heel and around the shoulders and hips. The bursa may look large and ugly but it is not life threatening and you can usually continue with your sport. If it becomes painful and stops you playing your sport, or, you don't want a lump on your knee for example, then your doctor will be able to help you.


Bursitis can be caused by a direct blow or perhaps by using a wrong technique over a long period.


As well as a lump on the shoulder there will be pain when the arm is stretched out sideways or if a twisting movement is attempted. The bursa may also be tender to the touch and cause the shoulder to ache.


Firstly avoid using your shoulder as much as possible so that the inflammation of the bursa reduces. You can apply ice to help reduce swelling but use a thin towel between ice and skin to prevent ice burn. After 2 to 3 weeks and the swelling has reduced slightly and there is no pain or aching in the shoulder, then you should start gentle exercises gradually building up to strengthening and mobility exercises.


Always warm up and stretch your muscles before your sport. This will bring blood and oxygen to the working muscles and lubricate the joints. Make warm ups and stretching part of you sport and you will lower the risk of further injury.