Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs located at tissue sites where muscles or tendons pass over bony prominences adjacent to joints. In this way, they reduce friction between these parts to facilitate movement.
For a variety of reasons , it is possible for a bursa to become inflamed, infected or traumatised and in effect, generate bursitis. One of the most common types of bursitis is that which manifests itself in the shoulder area and it is therefore useful to know what the symptoms are. As well as how it can be treated with a compression shoulder brace, and here we will explain why.
What is shoulder bursitis and what are its symptoms?
70% of people suffer from shoulder pain at some point in their lives. It is triggered by different pathologies that affect this part of the arm and one of the most common is shoulder bursitis. The shoulder is a complex joint that consists of three bones along with several muscles, tendons and ligaments.
To minimise friction, promote gliding and cushion the impact between these structures, it also contains several synovial bursae that can become inflamed. Shoulder bursitis, which is also known as "subacromial bursitis" or "subdeltoid bursitis", is defined as a pathology involving inflammation of the subacromial and subdeltoid bursae, due to the accumulation of synovial fluid in these bursae.
Taking into account that, in several cases, shoulder bursitis is part of the shoulder impingement syndrome which, in addition to affecting the bursa, also injures the muscles and tendons in the area.
The most common type of shoulder bursitis is subacromial bursitis. This is an inflammation of the bursa that covers the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder and is basically located under the acromion, or side-most bone of the shoulder blade. It causes severe pain in the joint when movements of the limb are made.
The most common causes or risk factors to highlight are:
- Degenerative process.
- Repetitive movements.
- Overexertion in the shoulder area.
- Malformation of a bone.
- Trauma or direct blows to the joint.
- Prolonged swimming.
- Age (involves wear and tear).
- Activities or work that put pressure on a synovial bursa.
- Systemic inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, polymyalgia rheumatica and scleroderma).
The patient presents with a clinical picture that includes the following signs and symptoms:
- Gradual, severe pain in the shoulder, which increases with abduction (or lateral elevation) and rotations.
- Swelling in the injured area.
- Difficulty in moving the arm
- Restriction of shoulder movements
- Insomnia or sleep disturbance (due to nocturnal pain)
- Fever in some cases
What are the benefits of using a compression shoulder brace to treat shoulder bursitis?
Conservative treatment used to treat inflammation of the bursae in the shoulder area consists of the affected person having prolonged rest and performing certain alternative therapies with the aim of controlling the pain and obtaining improvement.
One of these therapies consists of compression therapy which makes use of an elastic device from which it is possible to decrease venous pressure, regulate the function of the vascular wall and raise the metabolism of the tissues in the afflicted area. This minimises both pain and swelling so that the joint can function normally again.
This type of compression shoulder supports provide the following advantages:
- Reduces pain in the affected shoulder joint.
- Moderates any inflammatory process that may occur as a result of the condition.
- Ensures stability to the shoulder area and its adjacent parts.
- Promotes the rehabilitation of patients to regain shoulder function.
- Provides comfort to the injured shoulder during and after recovery.
- Protects the affected area to prevent the patient from aggravating the injury or further injury.
- Provides security so that the patient feels confident in performing movements and/or activities with the shoulder.
What type of shoulder supports are best for improving shoulder bursitis?
When choosing a compression shoulder brace to treat shoulder bursitis, it is essential that the user takes into account a number of details to ensure that the benefits of compression therapy are realised and to prevent side effects that can damage the joint.
During the purchasing process, it is suggested that individuals check the following important features:
- Size or dimension: It is important to choose a convenient size in order to receive the appropriate level of support to stimulate improvement in the area. To do this, it is recommended that the patient take measurements of his or her shoulder and arm to determine the specific dimensions. In this way, you will ensure that you purchase a garment that does not cause damage to the blood flow in the shoulder or increase discomfort there.
- Material: With regard to the material of manufacture, it is recommended that the buyer chooses a compression shoulder brace made of a durable and breathable component such as nylon and spandex. In this way, apart from preventing rapid wear and tear, the accessory helps the shoulder to move without causing discomfort.
- Adequate compression: Another detail of great interest is the compression provided by the garment. It is essential that it manages to stabilise the joint in a relevant way so that the patient feels comfortable and secure, while the shoulder support is responsible for minimising venous pressure.
- Comfortable design: For greater comfort, it is helpful if the design of the compression shoulder brace does not tend to disrupt the affected shoulder area and its adjacent parts. Otherwise, it will not be able to perform the treatment effectively.
Finding the fusion of all these specifications in a single garment is not an easy task. For this reason, to facilitate the purchase phase, we recommend buying a sports compression shoulder brace. It is distinguished by the fact that it meets all of the above-mentioned requirements.