You will generally be asked to complete a series of movements to measure your active (performed by you) and passive (performed by your examiner) range of motion. These movements will test any possible shoulder impingements, as well as your shoulder strength, joint stability, and location of tenderness. A sign that you may have subacromial bursitis is acute pain when trying to reach the affected arm behind you towards the lower back, as if to get something out of your back pocket. You would also experience pain when reaching above your head , as you would when putting something on a high shelf. If you feel sharp pain with both of these motions you may have shoulder bursitis and/or other related conditions and should see a doctor.
Bursitis of the shoulder (impingement syndrome) occurs when there is inflammation (swelling and redness) between the top of the arm bone (humerus) and the tip of the shoulder (acromion). Between these bones lie the tendons of the rotator cuff and a fluid-filled sac (the bursa) that protects the tendons. Normally, the tendons slide effortlessly within this space. In some people, this space becomes too narrow for normal motion. This causes irritation to the tendons and bursa, which become inflamed. Inflammation causes the tendons and bursa to swell, making the space for movement still smaller. Eventually, this space becomes too narrow for the tendons and the bursa. Every time they move, they are pinched between the bones. This is the impingement.
Bursae close to the surface of the skin are the most likely to get infected with bacteria, a condition that is called septic bursitis. The most common bacteria to cause septic bursitis are Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus epidermis . People with diabetes , alcoholism , certain kidney conditions, those with suppressed immune systems such as from cortisone medications (steroid treatments), and those with wounds to the skin over a bursa are at higher risk for septic bursitis. About 85% of septic bursitis occurs in men.