What is Shoulder Blade
(Scapulothoracic) bursitis ?
The shoulder is a has a number of tendons, 3 bones and 2 large muscles all working together to allow movement of your arm. Upward, downward, forward and backwards, all the soft tissue work together to also provide strength for our arm and shoulder. The tissue in the shoulder is very closely woven together in the structure of the shoulder joint. This tightness can cause problems as we age or have over active lifestyles.
Injury such as a sudden impact or a fractured bone causes the bone to heal with rough bumpy ridges. The bone rubs on the bone ridge and the tissue can catch on the roughness and or ridges on the bone.
You might be suffering from Shoulder Blade bursitis if:
- You have sharp pain at the back of your shoulder blade.
- You hear your shoulder joint pop or thumps during movement.
- You have loss of range of motion due to pain.
- You have swelling and the area is tender to the touch on your shoulder blade.
- You may even notice thickness in the inflamed bursa.
If any of those statements are true for you or you're suffering from on-going pain in your shoulder blade then you might have an injury called "scapulothoracic bursitis".
Many people don't know that scapulothoracic bursitis is a very real injury affecting the bursa sac(s) in your shoulder / scapula. It can happen to anyone who regularly puts stress with repetitive movements as part of your job, sports related activities, acute trauma to the arm / shoulder and/or aging weakness the tissue around the shoulder and the bursa.
Shoulder blade or scapulothoracic bursitis is one of those injuries that can really bring down the quality of your life. Anyone - young or old - can suffer from this injury, and if you're active this condition will keep you from doing the things you love to do. It will even start interrupting any of your normal daily tasks and make living life harder than it really needs to be.
Fortunately for you, professional athletes have had access to state of the art treatment therapies for years that allow them to heal more quickly and completely than you or I. This is why athletes that have a serious shoulder bursitis injury can often get back in the game in a matter of weeks while you could suffer for months or even years (in chronic cases).
With some breakthrough products we have engineered, professional treatment is now available to anyone who needs it.
What You Need to Treat Your Shoulder Blade Bursitis Injury:
- A Professional Cold Compression ColdCure Wrap® to reduce inflammation of the muscle tissue (as soon as possible).
- A Deep Tissue Therapeutic BFST Wrap® to increase Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to the injured soft tissue (BFST®).
What is Shoulder Blade Bursitis?
The most common bursae to be inflamed in the shoulder blade area are the infraserratus and the supraserratus bursa. Located between the upper back on your shoulder blade. They act as a lubrication for the muscles in the shoulder blade so the soft tissue glades smoothly.
Bursitis occurs when a bursa is irritated from shoulder joint abnormalities such as muscle or bone. The tissue further constricts the bursa in such a narrow space resulting in the condition.
What causes Scapulothoracic Bursitis?
Direct or indirect trauma to the shoulder joint. Athletes who over-train with a overhead throwing sport or overuse. The bursae and tendon can become irritated and inflamed leading to thickening of the bursae lining and wearing of the tendon. Fluid builds in the bursa when it becomes irritated causing swelling of the bursa and pain in the shoulder blade.
Muscle imbalances, atrophied muscles, fibrotic muscles and or muscle trauma are common causes of shoulder blade bursitis. Bone imbalances or bony growths on the ribcage or scapula can also cause irritation when the shoulder is in motion leading to the bursitis.
What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Blade Bursitis?
Symptoms of shoulder blade bursitis are often part of what is called Snapping Scapula Syndrome, a set or series of medical condition that could be causing you pain in your shoulder blade. When you suffer from shoulder blade bursitis you will experience some or all of the following symptoms which are most noticeable when you raise your arm over your head.
- Pain at the back of the shoulder on the shoulder blade , especially when you are doing overhead movements. Such as putting on a shirt, reaching for a cup from a shelf or even trying to pull the covers up over your bed.
- Direct pressure on the bursa will exacerbate the pain and should be avoided if possible.
- Tenderness and swelling which might make it difficult to perform certain activities
- As the bursa becomes more inflamed you will experience swelling and warmth. In severe cases, the bursa will appear as a bump, and is usually red, and extremely tender. Swelling can cause difficulties moving as the range of motion in the shoulder can be affected.
- Range of motion loss lack of use of the shoulder and arm sets in atrophy to the muscle tissue and you may notice loss of movement in your arm
- You may hear your shoulder joint pops or thumps during movement of your shoulder.
- Weakness in the tendons and muscles surrounding the bursa can develop as the pain worsens and the inflammation in the area spreads.
- Possibly a fever if you are suffering from septic bursitis (You will need to see a doctor for medication to get rid of the infection).
How Do I Diagnose Shoulder Blade Bursitis
When you are experiencing shoulder blade pain at the back of your shoulder, a visit to the doctor is always recommended. Getting a proper diagnosis is important so you can treat your condition correctly.
To begin with, your doctor will gather a medical history about you and your current condition and symptoms. He/she will inquire about the level of your shoulder blade pain, the how long you have had the symptoms and the limitations you are experiencing. Details about what and when the pain started, all are very helpful in providing you with a diagnoses of your arm / shoulder.
A physical examination will be performed to determine if you have any signs of shoulder blade Bursitis or other shoulder injury. He/she will look and feel the soft tissue and bones in your shoulder to note any differences between the two of them. This will identify any abnormalities, such as swelling, bone deformities, atrophied muscles, redness and/or warmth on the skin. In many cases, the first sign that you have shoulder blade bursitis is swelling in the back of the shoulder and pain.
If a soft tissue injury is suspected, an MRI will likely be done to view where and how much the damage is in your shoulder blade. An x-ray may be recommended to rule out a bone spur or other foreign body as the cause of your shoulder blade pain.
As the subcutaneous bursa is close to the surface of the skin, it is more susceptible to septic, or infectious, bursitis caused by a cut or scrape on your the shoulder blade. Septic bursitis required antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Your doctor will be able to determine whether there is an infection or not by drawing a small sample of the bursa fluid with a needle.
How Do You Treat Shoulder Blade Bursitis?
What You Can Do!
It is important to treat bursitis in the early stages to reduce the symptoms, minimize damage and maintain motion and strength in your shoulder. Resting your shoulder and reducing any activities that add pressure on your bursa will help to reduce your pain and bursitis inflammation. By treating your Shoulder Blade bursitis in the early stages with ColdCure Wrap® cold compression therapy and BFST Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, you are more likely to prevent long-term damage and chronic conditions from setting in.
For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with non-operative options such as cold compression therapy and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™. Surgery to remove the inflamed bursa is normally not required for bursitis, however if you fail to see improvement with the conservative treatments, your physician may recommend surgery to remove the bursa completely. Although this removes the problem of an inflamed bursa, you are left with less lubrication in your shoulder which can lead to a host of other conditions.
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your shoulder and arm. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving pain and stress on the shoulder, treating scar tissue, and then restoring strength and movement. If you are performing an activity that could cause further trauma to the bursa, it is recommended that you protect the area to prevent further irritation or damage.
Other Conservative Treatment Methods can be Risky
In some cases, physicians may recommend drugs or medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to manage pain and inflammation.
"Medical evidence shows that cortisone shots can damage the surrounding tissue, fray the tendons, and even trigger a rupture. Most side effects are temporary, but skin weakening (atrophy) and lightening of the skin (depigmentation) can be permanent." (reference: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
Regardless of the condition affecting your shoulder, you will find that the conservative treatments your doctor give are the best choice for natural healing. Building strong healthy tissue and allows you to regain strength in your arm and shoulder. Conservative treatments include:
- Rest - This is important for the overall healing of your shoulder is resting. Do as much as possible, even this can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting is very important. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that put stress on your shoulder until your pain and inflammation settles.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your injury it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your tissue damage (especially any repetitive movement). Continuing on with regular activities will not only make your injury worse.
- Apply Effective Cold Compression
Effective Cold Compression = Treatment with a ColdCure Wrap® Immediate cold (using a ColdCure Wrap®) will help you to manage pain while getting rid of the pain and inflammation. Reducing inflammation can also relieve some of the pressure that's being placed on your tissue(s) and stop your injury from getting worse.
- Use Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ - After any inflammation and/or swelling has been reduced, you can use your own blood flow to maximize healing of damaged tissue and maintain healthy blood flow to your tissue. This also boost overall long-term healing of this injury.
The Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® and Shoulder BFST Wrap® are home treatment medical devices that stun many of our customers with how effective they really are! Even with chronic cases such as arthritis - these products cannot cure arthritis, but they sure can bring down the swelling (and pain) when it flares up. Maintaining elasticity in the joint is a major concern for arthritis sufferers, and the BFST Wrap® will help fight atrophy (shrinking of soft tissue due to lack of movement) and strains as it is known to increase elasticity of soft tissue during and for some time after treatments. You simply won't find another product on the market that has the comfort, ease of use, and effectiveness of a BFST Wrap®.
Your doctor has given have conservative treatments before even suggesting surgery. It is generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the any already damaged tissue. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring more physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. If not dealt with properly, your shoulder blade bursitis injury could end up in worse condition than before the surgery! This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort.
Step 1 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with a ColdCure Wrap®
The 1st step for conservative treatment of your shoulder blade bursitis when treating conservatively or even after surgery is to reduce swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required for your body to heal naturally after surgery. This is why doctors and surgeons recommend cold compression therapy within the first 72 hours of any injury and following surgery.
Cold compression therapy is recommended to reduce pain, swelling and tissue damage. Many doctors, surgeons and physical therapists consider cold compression therapy to be the gold standard for treatment of inflammation and pain. On-going cold compression treatments can reduce, or even eliminate, the need for NSAIDs or other medications that can be harmful to your body.
Cold compression therapy is known and trusted by most medical professionals. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, after any re-injury, and especially after surgery.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and inferior gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries with effective cold compression, so ice and blue gel packs (full of antifreeze and chemicals) have been the only choice up until now.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, and numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late. You can also get rid of those cold packs that warm up soon after you pull them out of the freezer and gel that pools around your injury putting the short-term cold everywhere except for where you need it most - on your injury!
The ColdCure Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need for your post-surgical recovery to treat yourself in an effective and convenient way.
When used on any soft tissue injury, our ColdCure Wraps® provide:
- The highest-level of cold compression to quickly decrease pain, swelling, inflammation and draw the heat out of your injury.
- A tailored wrap that conforms perfectly around your shoulder.
- Effective cold compression that's unlike any other cold compression wrap out there.
- Cold temperatures that stay right over your shoulder injury for the entire length of your treatment.
- A home-based solution with consistent (daily) cold treatments that reduces swelling fast, decreases tissue damage after injury or surgery, and opens up the vessels in and around your injury to receive the blood flow circulation needed to heal quickly and naturally.
- Heavier, more substantial gel packs containing a special formulation of gel - called RigiGel®.
RigiGel® is our trademarked name for a unique gel formula that's made out of food-grade, non-toxic material which holds the cold for an extended period of time. This specially formulated gel also features non-migrating gel technology that makes our ColdCure Wrap® truly different from any other wrap available on the market.
RigiGel® is a patented formula that gives you:
- More cooling power per pound of gel than standard cold compression wraps.
- More gel than other wraps, meaning every time you put one on it will keep your injury cold for a longer period; pain relief is enhanced and swelling is better controlled.
Our special RigiGel® packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your shoulder injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs aren't icy-cold, just perfectly cold enough to give you the most effective cold compression available.
The cushioned gel will wrap around your shoulder injury and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your shoulder injury or have to hold a hard block of ice on your shoulder!
Effective Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your injury as soon as possible, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, directly after a re-injury or surgery. Applying a ColdCure Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
The ColdCure Wrap® = Effective Cold Compression Therapy
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with ColdCure Wrap® can get the swelling / inflammation in your injury under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start actually dealing with your injury and the healing needed.
Use a Cold Compression ColdCure Wrap®:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling around your injured area to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your shoulder injury is making your injury feel tender, painful or you're having a flare-up of an old injury.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your tissue.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
There are a lot of people that think their injury is gone after their swelling and inflammation are gone and their injury feels better. They also make the mistake of returning to regular activities too soon without proper time for healing. The truth is that healing takes time and after the swelling is gone your injury isn't even close to being fully healed.
After the inflammation in and around your tissue has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue in and around your injury is recommended. Believe it or not, the best time for you to focus on avoiding re-injury and strengthening the weakened tissue is when the swelling's gone and your tissue has started to heal. It's vital that you don't go back to activities too soon because you might bring on a major setback in your recovery...
- Have you recently re-injured yourself by returning to your normal daily activities too quickly?
- How many times in the past have you aggravated yourself just trying to perform basic tasks around your house?
- Is your injury preventing you from work or activities you love to do?
If this sounds like you - You're not alone...
Most people we deal with tell us these scenarios have happened to them many times in the past. The real challenge is how to promote blood flow to your injury site without causing further damage. This goal is even more complicated by the fact that you have to use your injury site for almost everything in everyday life.
What can you do to actually start healing yourself?
The answer is simple. Your body can heal itself and it's the blood in your body that makes it all happen. Your blood is how everything that's good inside of you is transported directly to your injured tissue. Your blood carries oxygen, nutrients, water and antibodies right to the source of your injury and pain. Bringing proper blood flow to your injured tissue is essential for healing.
Promoting blood flow around injured tissue to help the body heal itself is a concept that's been used for centuries. Oxygen and nutrients, carried in your own blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, recovering from your injury will be delayed... Sometimes for a very long period of time.
Even though the concept is simple, improving blood flow to your tissue can be difficult, when an injury occurs. Traditional methods require you to move your sore/stiff injury site in order to promote blood flow. This same motion that promotes blood flow can also make your pain and injury much worse. Relying on movement alone to increase blood flow puts you in danger of re-injuring yourself.
So what do you do when you need to increase blood flow, but you can't move your without re-injuring your tissue?
This is where the BFST Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) come in!
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®), will help with your recovery and heal your tissue more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tissue, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to your damaged tissue is greatly needed to complete your healing and avoid re-injury once and for all.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of a BFST Wrap®.
The BFST Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your damaged tendon on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and it may even burn you.
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too!
You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating your tissue, increasing the blood flow right where your injury is!
- When treating any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while your injury site is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The BFST Wrap® is the most highly effective blood flow stimulation device that you'll find on the market that is approved by the FDA for use in the home or hospital.
Regular treatments with a BFST Wrap® can reduce pain and stiffness from scar tissue and increase overall flexibility in your tissue. Increased blood flow will whisk away damaged tissue, toxins, and any bacteria in or around your injured tissue to promote more effective healing. Getting rid of toxins will allow all of the positive healing processes to start in your injury. Increasing blood flow will also increase the amount of oxygen that's being sent to your injured tissue AND boost your tissue's ability to absorb oxygen. (reference: 1)
How Does the BFST Wrap® Promote BFST®?
Every BFST Wrap® contains a patented Energy Pad that's flexible and shaped to conform around your injury site. The Energy Pad provides a uniform wave of healing electromagnetic energy over the entire treatment area. This energy travels deep inside your soft tissue to stimulate blood flow on the deep tissue level where it's needed to heal your injury. It's the electromagnetic energy provided provided by our BFST Wraps® that's crucial to the healing process.
Electromagnetic energy is the only way to get your blood flow moving on a deep tissue level for these reasons:
- Electromagnetic energy waves are not heat waves.
- When emitted from the BFST Wrap®, electromagnetic energy waves penetrate right through your skin and fat layers until they get to your damaged tissue.
- Once these energy waves reach your injured tissue(s), they're absorbed and quickly converted into heat energy right at the location of your injury.
- The idea of electromagnetic energy waves is slowly catching on in North American, but the truth is, it's a technology that's been used for decades.
Many people just don't know that over the past 30 years, researchers in Japan and China have completed extensive studies on the use of electromagnetic energy for healing and their findings have been impressive. Success has been reported in studies from countries like Sweden and Germany. Research is continuing and soon, much of North American will know what the Far East and Europe has known for a long time...
Electromagnetic energy provides a wide range of health benefits for many other soft tissue injuries.
Regular treatment with the electromagnetic energy in our BFST Wraps® will ensure:
- Your pain will be reduced.
- Your injured tissue will heal at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury.
- Your knee will have a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue in your joint and around your meniscus. (Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
Electromagnetic Energy = Increased Blood Flow = More Oxygen, More Nutrients and Less Toxins = Faster Healing
Our BFST Wraps® are uniquely patented designs that are better than other alternatives out there for more than just the electromagnetic energy they provide! Our wraps are made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it is to us. Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - bio-compatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product to increase blood flow circulation.
Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Use A BFST® BFST Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up your injury site to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery, during rehabilitation, to warm up before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your tissue has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue in and around your injury site.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your tissue to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, a Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® and Shoulder BFST Wrap®, will provide exceptional results. Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Shoulder ColdCure Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Call one of our AidMyBursa Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your shoulder injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About SUPERIOR Shoulder Blade Bursitis Treatments
Learn more about the The Cold Compression ColdCure Wrap®
Learn more about the BFST BFST Wrap®