Managing Shoulder Pain

People from all walks of life are struggling with Shoulder Pain; it’s a prevalent medical condition and as many as half of the population is afflicted by it.

As a result of the pain, many people miss work and are unable to maintain daily functions and complete daily tasks. In extreme cases, pain can persist all throughout the day and can even wake you from your slumber. That’s why it’s imperative to get the most accurate and precise diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms.

What are some causes and symptoms of Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder Pain is comprised of any pain that arises in or around your shoulder, it may form from within the join or from anywhere within the numerous surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons. Shoulder Pain can typically get worse during activities or during the course of moving your shoulder or arm. As an extremely flexible joint, the shoulder plays a major role in the performance of a central extremity and is always at risk of being injured. Of great concern is having a weak Rotator Cuff; a weak Rotator Cuff can be cause as the result of an injury however, often times the a weak Rotator Cuff is the very cause of the injury itself.

Rotator Cuff, a key player in your arm and shoulder movements

The Rotator Cuff is made up of a group of four muscles that connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm. The main purpose of these four muscles is to rotate the arm, both internally and externally. A notable function is the stabilization of the shoulder joint by keeping the upper arm bone (or humerus) inside of the shoulder joint. Most importantly, is their function of maintaining the space between the top of the arm bone and the bony roof of the shoulder (or acromion) when raising the arm. Maintaining a strong Rotator Cuff is essential in preventing injuries and preserving the shoulder muscles.

More about Shoulder Pain in association with activities

Shoulder Pain is widespread when overexertion occurs during many activities including sports like swimming, baseball, football and tennis, when the arm is likely to be used overhead. The Shoulder Pain experienced can be felt from the tip of the shoulder and radiate all the way down the arm. An injured shoulder can also affect many ligaments, bursae or tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Common traumas to the shoulder can lead to inflammation of the bursae or tendons, also known as Tendinitis and result in Rotator Cuff impairments as well as instability and frozen shoulder. Fracture of the bones of the shoulder, like injuries resulting from a bike fall, can cause incredible Shoulder Pain and need immediate attention. Diseases like Arthritis can also cause extreme Shoulder Pain and discomfort.

When should you worry?

If you’re unable to carry objects or use your arm as you normally would, this is cause for concern, additionally, experiencing Shoulder Pain during the night or while resting as well as pain that is persistent for more than a few days are all good reasons to seek medical attention. Should you find that you’re unable to raise your arm or have swelling or significant bruises around your joint or arm, it is best to locate a specialist for further consultation, such as Dr George Hardas of Spinal Care in Sydney. Symptoms of infection include fevers, redness and the feeling of warmth in the joint. Some injuries can cause deformity and if not taken care of right away, may cause a lifetime of pain and discomfort. If you have any of the above symptoms it is absolutely imperative that you get a diagnosis and begin a proper treatment plan as soon as possible.

According the Healthline, here are some other common causes and risk factors

  • Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Septic Arthritis
  • Bursitis (swelling of the bursa sacs, which protect the shoulder)
  • Tendinitis (swelling of the tendons)
  • Bone Spurs (bony projections that develop along the edges of the bones)
  • Torn Cartilage
  • Torn Rotator Cuff
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Broken Shoulder Bone
  • Broken Arm
  • Frozen Shoulder (when tendons, ligaments and muscles stiffen and become difficult or impossible to move).
  • Repetitiveuse or overuse injury of nearby areas such as the bicep
  • Shoulder Separation
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Heart Attack

Tips for prevention of Shoulder Pain

  • Incorporate some stretching exercises for your shoulder into your routine. These are known as Range of Motion exercises for both your arm and shoulder
  • Warm up before exercising
  • Refrain from carrying heavy objects (if it’s too heavy, leave it or get help)
  • Use proper posture, positioning and movements during activities like lifting, pulling or pushing
  • Try not to keep your arm raised for extended periods during activities like painting
  • Take frequent breaks during activities

What are some treatment options

The treatments will always depend on the cause, below are just a few treatment options:

  • For home-treatment use the RICE method: rest, ice and elevation.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Steroid Injections
  • Surgery
  • Medications
  • Use of a Sling or Shoulder Immobilizer
  • Physiotherapy

If you’re feeling any of the symptoms previously mentioned, it is critical to get treatment right away. Spinal Care offer specialised services for patients to help manage Shoulder Pain. Your health and safety are our number one concern and our team of experts is second to none. When it comes to Shoulder Pain, put your shoulder in the hands of qualified professionals that will ensure your rehabilitation and care with the highest priority.