Subacromial bursitis overview

This shoulder injury is a swelling of the subacromial bursa – a fluid-filled sac that creates a cushion between the acromion and the head of the humerus.

Causes of subacromial bursitis

This condition is typically caused by excessive use of the shoulder. Occupations such as painting or construction, which require repetitive overhead motions, are common culprits. These motions irritate the bursa, causing it to become inflamed.

Symptoms of subacromial bursitis

Subacromial bursitis symptoms can include tenderness, swelling, reduced range of motion and weakness in the shoulder. Minor pain may be present even when the shoulder is at rest. Sudden sharp pain may be felt when the arm is used.

Subacromial bursitis treatment

Treatment options may include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy. If those methods do not relieve the symptoms, shoulder surgery may be needed to create space in the shoulder joint.