The shoulder is a complex joint. It encompasses the union of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Inside the shoulder is also bursa, tiny sacs of fluid that help to reduce the friction between moving parts around the shoulder. Bursa serve as a cushion for the moving rotator cuff tendons. The bursa can become painful when inflamed due to an injury, overuse or condition such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Shoulder pain at night is often caused by an inflamed bursa.

Certain movements may be more painful than others. Patients in our office typically complain of shoulder pain at night, pain when lying on their side, pain when they lift their arm, open a door or carry a heavy object. There may also be some swelling in the area that hurts.

Shoulder bursitis can happen to anyone, but those at a higher risk tend to be athletes, farmers, carpenters, gardeners, factory workers and others who perform a specific shoulder movement on a frequent basis.

How to ease the pain at home

The first step in care for bursitis pain is simply to rest the shoulder and avoid the motions that cause pain as much as you can. Some patients find that wearing a shoulder sling helps make sure they are resting the arm. Ice the area when painful and take over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Stretching may also help if the bursitis is caused by muscle tightness or a strength imbalance. Your doctor may also give you a localized corticosteroid injection to manage the pain and control the inflammation.

Can regenerative medicine help?

When these conservative measures do not provide relief, you may consider a regenerative medicine treatment called PRP. This treatment works by activating the body’s natural healing process to reduce painful inflammation and activate healing.  It involves a relatively simple procedure that takes plasma-rich platelets (PRP) from your own blood, separates them in a centrifuge, and then carefully injects them into a specific area of the shoulder joint.  These regenerative cells can help reduce the inflammation and help activate the healing the process.

Unlike pain meds or cortisone injections, regenerative procedures can repair the injured area, rather than simply blocking the pain. The treatment is outpatient and takes just one office visit.  Most patients report an improvement in pain and function within a few weeks and continue to improve for several months as the healing process continues.

Be sure you see a reputable doctor

There has been a rise in unscrupulous healthcare offices selling “stem cell products” that do not actually work. Be cautious when considering any regenerative treatment that sounds too good to be true. While regenerative medicine has helped thousands of people overcome pain, it is not for everyone. At Regen Orthopedics, patients are cared for by Harvard-trained, nationally renowned orthopedic surgeon, Reuben Gobezie, MD, who specializes in both surgical and nonsurgical orthopedic treatments and research. Each patient is carefully evaluated to determine if they are a candidate. Regen Orthopedics also employs a research team that follows our patients to measure their success.


For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gobezie to review what’s causing you pain, call 844-786-2355. Our office is located in Beachwood, Ohio. Learn more about Dr. Gobezie.