This condition occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff, along with the subacromial bursa, become compressed against a bony scapula protrusion called the acromion. As these tissues continually rub against bone, they become irritated and inflamed.
This condition is typically caused by excessive use of the shoulder. Occupations such as painting or construction, which require repetitive overhead motions, are common culprits.
Symptoms can include tenderness, swelling, reduced range of motion, and weakness in the shoulder. Minor pain may be present even when the shoulder is at rest. Sudden, sharp pain may be felt when the arm is used.
Treatment options may include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy. If those methods do not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be needed to create space in the shoulder joint.