Subacromial Bursitis Treatment
Treatment for shoulder bursitis usually includes rest, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Additional treatment for shoulder bursitis may include corticosteroid medication injections and removal of fluid from the bursa.
Treatment for shoulder bursitis may include:
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- Prolonged immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder!
- Cold compresses:
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Corticosteroid injections for shoulder bursitis
- Injections into the subacromial bursa
- Removal of fluid from the bursa
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Physical therapy for shoulder bursitis
- Maintain range of motion in shoulder
- Occupational therapy
- Surgery for shoulder bursitis:
- May be an option if symptoms are severe, chronic, and unresponsive to the above treatments.
Subacromial Bursitis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of shoulder bursitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Will I need surgery?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having a shoulder bursitis again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Subacromial Bursitis Specialist
Continue to Subacromial Bursitis Home Care
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- Hanchard NC, Howe TE, Gilbert MM. Diagnosis of shoulder pain by history and selective tissue tension: agreement between assessors. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005 Mar;35(3):147-53. 
- Ishii H, Brunet JA, Welsh RP, Uhthoff HK. Bursal reactions in rotator cuff tearing, the impingement syndrome, and calcifying tendinitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1997 Mar-Apr;6(2):131-6. 
- LeNoir JL. Subacromial-subdeltoid bursitis of the shoulder. Orthop Rev. 1986 Nov;15(11):730-2.