Shoulder capsulitis, bursitis and tendinitis

The shoulder is a complex joint formed of 3 bones; the humerus, the scapula and the collarbone. The humerus, which is the bone of the arm, is attached to the body by various ligaments and a capsule that encloses the joint. In order to increase the stability of the shoulder, several muscles cover the joint. These muscles also have the function of mobilizing the arm in different directions. There are also various bursae, small bags filled with liquid, which acts as a cushion between the bones and ensures fluidity during shoulder movements.
All structures that form the shoulder are likely to be harmed. However, those that are most often injured are the capsule, the bursa and the tendons.

  • Tendonitis
    Inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder resulting from repeated stress, a too rapid increase of the intensity of an effort or a trauma. It occurs more often at the rotator cuff, which is a group of 4 muscles that provide stability to the shoulder: the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor and the subscapularis. It also occurs very often in the biceps tendon.
  • Bursitis
    Inflammation of the bursa. Very often caused by shock or micro-trauma on the shoulder. When the bursa is crushed, it responds by becoming inflamed and producing pain. The subacromial bursa is most often affected.
  • Capsulitis
    Shrinkage of the capsule caused by a decrease in shoulder movements. It can occur as a result of tendinitis or bursitis, after surgery or after trauma. It must be managed quickly to accelerate healing.

A pain in the shoulder, arm or scapula is the first alarm signal of these various affections. Without necessarily being constant, the pain will not disappear from day to day. Different signs and symptoms can then be observed depending on the condition such as inflammation, persistent muscle tension or difficulty sleeping on the affected side. Do not hesitate to consult when shoulder pain occurs and persists for more than a week, because a decrease in mobility and muscle strength can quickly appear, which will take a long time to regain.

The best recommendation when shoulder pain occurs is to apply ice and continue to move the shoulder. A decrease in effort is often beneficial. A physiotherapy consultation will determine the structure impaired and provide specific recommendations. The initial treatment will relieve pain, decrease inflammation, maintain mobility and ensure that the condition doesn’t get worse. Then, progressive strengthening, ultrasound, various tapings and manual therapy will heal your wound.

Do not hesitate to consult your physiotherapist when shoulder pain seems unusual. It will be our pleasure to help you get back to your activities and work without pain.