Shoulder Subacromial Bursitis
Shoulder Subacromial Bursitis
A common misconception in training for throwing sports, predominately using the muscles around the shoulder, is that by training the muscles that are the primary movers for acceleration around the shoulder joint, you will be able to improve your throw. However, with this form of training, many forget to consider the consequences of not training the muscles that work to decelerate the arm at the end of the throwing motion. Therefore, this frequently results in the occurrence of injuries to the shoulder, such as shoulder subacromial bursitis.
What is shoulder subacromial bursitis?
Shoulder subacromial bursitis occurs when the bursa, a small sack of fluid, becomes trapped and inflammed in the shoulder. It’s primary role is to aid in the smooth movement of the tendon at the top of the arm, or humerus bone insertion point. This tendon is the joining between the humerus bone and the supraspinatus muscle, one of the rotator cuff muscles, which connects at the top of the shoulder blade and is the muscle we use to lift the arm up sideways and to create a great deal of force when performing the throwing motion.
Shoulder subacromial bursitis symptoms:
- Pain and weakness of the injured arm, particularly when lifted up to the side of the body.
Subacromial bursitis is frequently mistaken for supraspinatus inflammation, which is inflammation of the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle, which is located above the subacromial bursa. To differentiate whether you have injured the tendon or the bursa, if you have more pain when lifting your arm up sideways to the body with resistance than without resistance, it is more likely that you have injured your tendon than your bursa.
How does subacromial bursitis develop?
Shoulder subacromial bursitis pain develops most commonly during sports or activities that require a throwing movement, or overhead movements, but can even develop from sleeping on your shoulder. Even with preventative therapy to train the muscles which aid in deceleration of the shoulder and arm during this movement, overtraining or a previously ruptured supraspinatus tendon can also result in an inflamed bursa.
Initial protocal for an injured shoulder subacromial bursitis:
The injured shoulder should primarily be rested as more movement to the shoulder will result in further inflammation to the bursa, with light mobility exercises to remain full movement of the shoulder, if possible without pain. Cold ice packs on the inflamed area for 10 minutes as required can also help in the reduction of inflammation.
Physiotherapy Treatment for Subacromial Bursitis:
Under the guidance of a qualified Physiotherapist:
- they will lead you through a series of rehabilitation exercises used to strengthen the shoulder and its surrounding muscles.
- In some cases modalities such as ultrasound, laser therapy, or shockwave therapy reduce pain and inflammation of the bursa,
- manual therapy to improve mobility of the shoulder and
- and management tools to to proactively train the muscles which are involved in the deceleration movement of the arm and shoulder during throwing, to prevent the risk of further injuries to the shoulder.
At Ace Physio, we have qualified Sports Physiotherapists in downtown Toronto who can help you to overcome shoulder injuries, such as shoulder acromial bursitis.
We provide one-on-one appointments in the easily accessible location of Yonge and College in downtown Toronto.