St Albans Osteopathy Blog

Subacromial Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis symptoms typically include tenderness at the outer shoulder, especially when raising the arm above the head. A person with shoulder bursitis may find it painful to raise the arm, get dressed, or put pressure on the side of the affected shoulder. It is located below a part of the shoulder blade called the acromion (hence the name “subacromial”). If this bursa becomes inflamed it is called shoulder bursitis or subacromial bursitis.

A diagnosis of shoulder bursitis is often accompanied by a diagnosis of tendinitis or shoulder impingement syndrome. These are separate but often overlapping conditions that affect the soft tissue around the shoulder joint.

Exercises

Posterior stretching exercise

  • Hold the elbow of your injured arm with your other hand.
  • Use your hand to pull your injured arm gently up and across your
  • body. You will feel a gentle stretch across the back of your injured
  • shoulder.
  • Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Then slowly lower your arm.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Up-the-back stretch

  • Note: Your osteopath may want you to wait to do this stretch until you have regained most of your range of motion and strength. You can do this stretch in different ways. Hold any of these stretches for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat them 2 to 4 times.
  • Put your hand in your back pocket. Let it rest there to stretch your shoulder.
  • With your other hand, hold your injured arm (palm outward) behind your back by the wrist. Pull your arm up gently to stretch your shoulder.
  • Next, put a towel over your other shoulder. Put the hand of your injured arm behind your back. Now hold the back end of the towel. With the other hand, hold the front end of the towel in front of your body. Pull gently on the front end of the towel. This will bring your hand farther up your back to stretch your shoulder.

Overhead stretch

  • Standing about an arm’s length away, grasp onto a solid surface. You could use a countertop, a doorknob, or the back of a sturdy chair.
  • With your knees slightly bent, bend forward with your arms straight. Lower your upper body, and let your shoulders stretch.
  • As your shoulders are able to stretch farther, you may need to take a step or two backward.
  • Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Then stand up and relax. If you had stepped back during your stretch, step forward so you can keep your hands on the solid surface.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Shoulder flexion exercise while lying down

  • Note: To make a wand for this exercise, use a piece of PVC pipe or a broom handle with the broom removed. Make the wand about 30 centimetres wider than your shoulders.
  • Lie on your back, holding a wand with both hands. Your palms should face down as you hold the wand.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, slowly raise your arms over your head. Raise them until you feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper back, and chest.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Shoulder rotation exercise while lying down

  • Note: To make a wand for this exercise, use a piece of PVC pipe or a broom handle with the broom removed. Make the wand about 30 centimeters wider than your shoulders.
  • Lie on your back. Hold a wand with both hands with your elbows bent and palms up.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body, and move the wand across your body toward the sore arm.
  • Hold for 8 to 12 seconds.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times.
June 6th 2019
 

Philip Bayliss, St Albans Osteopathy, 43 Thames Street, Christchurch 8013 ☎️ 03 356 1353