Sub Acromial Bursitis

by (Remedial Massage Therapist & Pilates Instructor)

What is this?

Sub acromial bursitis is an inflammation of your “sub acromial bursa”. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that helps to reduce friction in joint spaces. This is one of the most commonly injured or inflamed bursa of the shoulder and can relate to a tendonitis of your shoulder muscles. The most common cause of inflammation of these two structures is “Impingement

The bursa acts to protect the four muscles which make up the “Rotator Cuff” muscles of  the shoulder, these are:

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor and
  • Subscapularis.

How does this Injury Occur?

Repetitive work or “over-use” as well as trauma ie a fall, or poor posture may all lead to Sub acromial bursitis. They may also lead to inflammation of the tendons which may lead to impingement.
Any posture which narrows the “Sub Acromial space will also cause problems, such activities as working with your arms over head or above 90 degrees will narrow the space. Uncontrollable things such as Arthritis or Degeneration may also narrow this space.

Sub Acromial Bursitis

Signs and Symptoms


  • Gradual onset of symptoms – weeks to months
  • Pain on the outside of the shoulder and down the arm and movement outwards to 90 degree’s
  • Pain aggravated by lying on affected side or using the arm above your head
  • Pain with activities such as washing hair, reaching up to high shelf in the cupboard


Osteopathic / Physiotherapy:

Once a specific diagnosis of Sub acromial bursitis has been made, your Stay Tuned  Physiotherapist or Osteopath can be extremely helpful – they will help improve your range of motion, address your posture, aid in pain  relief and provide you with a specific strengthening program designed specifically to accommodate your  individual weakness’.

Massage/ Myotherapy:

Will work in conjunction with your therapist to improve your joint flexibility, tightness and allow you to return to sport as quick as possible.

by (Remedial Massage Therapist & Pilates Instructor) on 28th June 2011 |

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