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Shoulder Bursitis and Tendon Injury: Preventing Pain

Topic Overview

Bursitis or a tendon injury (tendinopathy) in the shoulder can cause pain on the outside or front of the upper arm. Common symptoms include pain, pinching, and stiffness when you raise your arm. These symptoms are often brought on by doing repeated overhead movements. Pain from bursitis or a tendon injury can keep you from moving your shoulder and, over time, can lead to stiffness and a decreased range of motion.

To prevent and ease shoulder pain:

  • During work, play, or daily activities, avoid prolonged or repeated overhead reaching, but continue to use your shoulder.
  • During specific sports activities:
    • Use proper throwing techniques.
    • Use a different swim stroke, such as the breaststroke or sidestroke instead of the crawl or butterfly, or alternate between strokes.
    • Avoid sports that require overhead use of the arms (such as racquet sports and volleyball) if you have shoulder pain.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Last Revised September 27, 2012

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