The Mythical Tale of Bursitis



My shoulder really hurts. It’s kind of hard to put a finger on it, but it aches from the tip of my shoulder down the outside of my upper arm.

It came on randomly about a month ago now, and is getting super annoying. 

Whenever I move my arm it grabs at me, and the worst is when I try to sleep, especially lying on that side. 


Sound familiar?

Gradual onset shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal cause for going to see your GP (1).


It can be really debilitating where the frustrations of pain, limited movement and poor sleep patterns weigh down on your quality of life – not fun at all. 

Surely there is some light at the end of the tunnel though? I’ve done some googling and it sounds like “Bursitis”?

Bursitis seems to be one of those words we all hear thrown around, but aren’t quite sure what it’s referring too… 

Bursa’s act as small shock absorbers or cushions around or body to reduce friction between tendon and bone. The catch is, when compressed or squished, they can get angry (this is the itis part of bursitis).

We can calm them down with ice, gentle exercises and avoiding those frustrating aggravators. Your GP may even suggest anti-inflammatories or an injection.


Sounds simple enough?

Unfortunately, this is where we often encounter a couple of hurdles. Much like a throat lozenge to ease a sore throat, you may calm down your shoulder, but have you got to the bottom of the story?

In the case of Bursitis, it is most commonly a secondary issue, where a sneaky primary diagnosis has been simmering away over time. This explains that random gradual onset we’ve racked our brains on looking for a point it all started.

Poor posture, reduced shoulder control or routine overload can all add up over-time, contributing to the simmering pot. Working backwards to figure out which ingredients matter is the key.

We are super passionate about digging deep to not only ease your shoulder symptoms, but more importantly, to identify their root cause and nail them through education and healthy movement.


If you think you have Bursitis, let’s work out what may be the driver and stop it in its tracks. Sing out if we can help you!


Brox et.al (2010), Non-traumatic shoulder pain, Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2010, Nov 4; 130 (21)

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