Bursitis Shoulder

Your bursa is a fluid filled sac that helps to reduce friction in your shoulder spaces. Bursitis shoulder is a common cause of shoulder pain that is usually caused from impingement of your bursa between your rotator cuff tendons and bone.

Shoulder Bursitis usually comes on gradually, although occasionally a single more significant trauma such as a fall can start things off. Typically however, it is related to overdoing overhead activity that requires the arm to go up and down repeatedly.

Shoulder bursitis is characterised by shoulder pain, and as a result there is often reduced movement. Some of the signs and symptoms of Bursitis include:

  • Pain is located over the tip of the shoulder
  • Gradual onset of shoulder pain
  • Pain on the outside of your shoulder.
  • Pain made worse when using your arm above your head or lying on your affected shoulder.
  • Painful arc of movement – shoulder pain felt between 60 – 90° of arm moving up and outwards.
  • Shoulder pain with activities such as washing hair, reaching up to high shelf in the cupboard.


Physiotherapy treatment is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of recurrence of this condition. Physiotherapy treatment may comprise of soft tissue release, dry needling and joint mobilisations to name a few.  Once the pain starts to reduce, the physiotherapist will set up an individualized shoulder strengthening and stretching exercise program to restore shoulder range of movement, muscle strength and stability. Click here for a demo on some great exercises to help with your shoulder injury. Please always remember that for best results supervision and specialist instruction is recommended.


If you are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms listed above please call reception 9518 0722

Katrina Tuanui (Physiotherapist)