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Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. A bursa is a small sac of fluid that cushions a joint and helps it move easily. A bursa sits under the highest point of your shoulder. You can get bursitis by overusing your shoulder, which can happen with activities such as lifting, pitching a ball, or painting. Symptoms of bursitis include pain when you move your arm. Your arm may hurt when you try to lift it, and the pain can reach down the side of your arm. You may have trouble sleeping because of the pain.
Bursitis usually gets better if you avoid the activity that caused it. If pain lasts or gets worse despite home treatment, your doctor may draw fluid from the bursa through a needle. This may relieve your pain and help your doctor know if you have an infection. If so, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If you have inflammation only, you may get a corticosteroid shot to reduce swelling and pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to drain or remove the bursa.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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