About Shoulder Bursitis

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Shoulder Bursitis?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint made up of the humerus, scapula, and clavicle bones. The shoulder bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that rest between the bones. The bursae are important because they prevent the bones from rubbing directly against one another. Shoulder bursitis, which is inflammation of the bursae, is a common condition.

Common Causes:

  • Overuse, particularly during overhead sports.
  • Shoulder injury or trauma
  • Age
  • Poor posture

Symptoms of shoulder bursitis may include:

  • Localized pain
  • Pain with movement
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling

Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of shoulder specialists take a step-by-step approach to determine the cause of shoulder bursitis. Key diagnostic steps include:

  • A medical history and symptom review
  • A physical examination
  • Medical imaging studies (multiple view x-rays and an MRI)

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat the overwhelming majority of cases of shoulder bursitis. Nonsurgical treatment options that may be in an OPA specialists treatment plan include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Oral and topical medications that decrease pain and inflammation.

Rest & Ice

Taking a break from activities that cause symptom flare-ups and applying ice to the shoulder decrease symptoms.

Steroid Injections

Corticosteroid and anesthetic medications can be injected into the shoulder to quickly calm inflamed bursae.

After symptoms subside, physical therapy may be used to improve your shoulder strength and flexibility and prevent future injuries. Surgery is rarely used to treat bursitis.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating shoulder bursitis.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations in Anchorage and Eagle River.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Shoulder Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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