The surprising thing for most people there is good news for you when it comes to bursitis of the shoulder blade. Swelling, warmth and burning pain in and around the shoulder area of the back are common signs of this condition, also known as scapular bursitis. While you can find it painful and limiting, the positive side is that you can generally get shoulder bursitis treated without invasive surgery.
This is likely cold comfort if you are suffering right now, but there are methods to consider that will help ease the pain and mobility limitations. Relief can be found through a number of forms.
Before seeking any kind of treatment, it’s important to have an accurate diagnosis and rule out the possibility of infection. Bursitis of the shoulder blade is caused by the cushioning sacks (known as bursa) between the bones, ligaments and/or tendons in the shoulder becoming irritated. This irritation can come from:
Thus, there are three types of bursitis:
Infected bursitis is a serious condition and can be hard to determine from other types. If pain, sickness and fever accompany warmth and/or redness, please seek medical attention immediately. The infection may spread and lead to other serious health problems.
It’s natural to want relief now when dealing with the burning pain of bursitis and the best treatment plan depends upon:
Anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the pain, but do not resolve the issue. They can also even lead to overuse of the shoulder, causing more damage because they mask the pain but don’t correct the cause. If you use anti-inflammatories or other pain-killers, just remember you still have bursitis of the shoulder blade even if it doesn’t hurt.
Those who have chronic bursitis will benefit from a modification of activity and icing a few times a day to help reduce swelling. It can take several weeks before swelling goes away and it becomes safe to return to regular activities.
In traumatic bursitis, icing is also beneficial, especially when combined with tensor bandaging and padding to protect the shoulder area if it is likely to be impacted again. This may be more common for people who participate in rougher sports like rugby or football.
Adding in other types of treatment can help speed the process of healing and provide increased relief.
To build up the muscles around the shoulder area, physical therapy is ideal. Not only do trained therapists help increase the motion of the shoulder, they also provide targeted movement and offer ongoing exercises to improve the strength of the shoulder, thereby reducing the potential of further injury. Yoga, like physical therapy, can help enhance mobility and ease stress on joints while also improving strength over time.
Supplements that assist the body with inflammation reduction and healing such as Vitamin C or herbal treatments can help. Remember though, it’s important to consult a health care practitioner and consider any potential for allergies or contraindications with medications you may be taking.
Acupuncture and acupressure treatments can provide relief to the shoulder area by reducing muscular tension, increasing circulation and decreasing inflammation. In acupuncture, the acupuncturist inserts into the points that release muscle tensions and spasms. For acupressure, your therapist will employ pressure points that do the same thing in treatment.
Ultimately, the right treatment options will come from proper diagnosis of bursitis of the shoulder blade, personal preference and available treatment options. If you’re experiencing burning pain in the shoulder area, there is relief beyond pain medications. See your doctor to get started on the road to recovery.
Lilian Lian is the Lead Massage Specialist in Easy Cozy Wellnes. She was trained by a reputable Chiropractor in Chengdu, China. She graduated from Vancouver International College of Health & Wellness with a Body Massage Diploma and Reflexology Certificate. She has 10+ years of professional experience focusing on Deep Tissue Massage and Muscle Relaxation Massage. Her oil massage skills are the favourite of many clients.
Easy Cozy focus on Acupressure (Body) Massage and Reflexology (Foot) Massage which are good for both males and females within any age range.