Exercises to Do for Bursitis in the Arm & Shoulder Area

Shoulder bursitis can cause much pain and discomfort in the affected area. Unfortunately, bursitis can occur rather easily particularly if you are frequently lifting loads over your head. However, there are exercises you can do to help the sore muscles and tendons heal faster.


The Medical News Today website explains that bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed. Your bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that soften the pressure and keep certain spots between muscles, bones and tendons lubricated. As a result, the joints are allowed to move with more ease.

Initial Treatment

The website Drugs.com explains that initial treatment may consist of putting your arm in a sling, icing the area and heating it. Apply ice for a little more than 15 minutes and for as many days as pain persists. A few days after injury, use a heating pad to lessen the stiffness in your shoulder. Heat the shoulder before exercising to speed up blood flow.

Shoulder Circles

Stand straight up and shrug your shoulders. Hold the shrug for about five seconds. Next, attempt to compress your shoulder blades by squeezing and hold for about five seconds. During the final phase, bring the shoulder blades down by pulling. When beginning to do this exercise, do it five times. When you become stronger, perform the exercises ten times. This set of exercises is designed to improve your shoulder's range of motion, according to the website All 4 Natural Health.


Put your hand on a table or chair to keep you balanced. Let your injured arm hang below you, lean forward and keep a slight bend in the knees. Use your injured arm to create circles and do about four repetitions. If you started counter-clockwise, rotate your arm clockwise for the second set. Increase the size of the circles with each repetition. Phano Paul Som, a bodybuilder, suggests resting the shoulder and avoiding the movements that hurt the area.


The website Drugs.com explains that you should only attempt physical rehabilitation on the aggravated area once your doctor or physical trainer has cleared you. Do not perform tasks that cause pain in the injured area. You may also be told to avoid resting or sleeping on the injured shoulder.