One of the most mobile joints in the body, the shoulder joint has a complicated anatomy and a broad range of motion. However, this mobility comes at a price because the shoulder is also prone to pain and damage. People of all ages frequently have shoulder pain, which can have a serious negative influence on daily life.
Numerous problems, such as overuse injuries, degenerative joint disease, and trauma, can result in shoulder pain. Whatever the source, shoulder injuries can cause excruciating pain and discomfort that makes it difficult to carry out daily chores.
We’ll look at a few of the disorders that cause shoulder discomfort most frequently in this blog post, along with some treatment ideas. We’ll go through each condition’s signs and symptoms too. We’ll also offer advice on how to keep your shoulders healthy and avoid injuries. You can find the relief you require and resume your regular activities by being aware of the causes and available treatments for shoulder pain.
Common conditions causing shoulder pain & their symptoms
- Rotator Cuff Injury
A collection of muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff serve to stabilise the shoulder joint by joining the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. Rotator cuff injuries are frequent and can be brought on by abrupt trauma or repetitive overhead activity. The shoulder may experience pain, weakness, and restricted mobility as a result of a rotator cuff injury: especially on rotation movements like trying to put a coat on for example!
2. Shoulder impingement syndrome
The rotator cuff tendons become inflamed and squeezed when they pass through a small space at the top of the shoulder, resulting in shoulder impingement syndrome. This may result in shoulder pain and restricted range of motion. Certain movements can be fine and others can really catch! Athletes or manual labourers who engage in repetitive overhead motions frequently have shoulder impingement syndrome.
3. Frozen Shoulder
Adhesive capsulitis, another name for frozen shoulder, is a disorder where the tissues in the shoulder joint thicken and stiffen, resulting in pain and restricted movement. When really severe, you may find you’re unable to lift your arm up or out much at all.
4. Shoulder Bursitis
Bursitis is an inflammatory disorder that affects the bursae, which are tiny sacs filled with fluid that cushion the joints. Bursitis in the shoulder can result from trauma or repetitive overhead motions. The shoulder may experience pain, soreness, and swelling as symptoms. This would be sore on pressure/to lie on too!
5. Shoulder Arthritis
When the cartilage in the shoulder joint deteriorates, shoulder arthritis develops, resulting in discomfort, stiffness, and restricted motion. This can be unrelated to movement – anc constant,ly cause an ache. Age-related degeneration, trauma, or a secondary consequence of another ailment can all lead to arthritis.
6. Shoulder Tendinitis
When the rotator cuff tendons become irritated and inflamed, it results in shoulder tendinitis, which hurts and limits shoulder motion. The biceps tendon is a common tendon to become inflamed – so lifting or carrying bags could become painful. Overuse or repetitive overhead tasks might lead to tendinitis.
7. Shoulder Instability
When the supporting structures for the shoulder joint are either destroyed or weakened, the joint becomes unstable and moves away from its ideal position. This may result in discomfort, a feeling of weakness, and the shoulder “popping out.” Instability in the shoulder can result from trauma or overuse.
Treatment options for shoulder pain
- Rest, and activity modification
Resting the injured shoulder and avoiding painful activities can help to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing. Your doctor and or physio could advise steering clear of certain activities that make your symptoms worse and might advise resting your shoulder for a while.
2. Physio & Complimentary Treatments
The range of motion, strength, and flexibility of the shoulder joint can all be enhanced with physical therapy. To restore shoulder function and ease pain, a physiotherapist could suggest stretches and exercises. To help increase shoulder mobility, they could also employ manual therapy techniques like massage or joint mobilisation.
Alternative treatments for shoulder discomfort may help some people, such as heat treatment, massage therapy, dry needling or acupuncture. These treatments should be used in conjunction with other available therapies and with a healthcare professional’s supervision in order to reduce inflammation and enhance shoulder function.
Ibuprofen or paracetamol, both available over-the-counter, can help lessen shoulder pain and inflammation. To help manage more severe pain, your doctor can possibly recommend stronger painkillers or corticosteroid injections.
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the shoulder joint. This may include arthroscopic surgery to remove damaged tissue or repair the rotator cuff, or joint replacement surgery for severe arthritis or other joint damage.
It’s crucial to discuss your individual illness and the best treatment options with your doctor and or physio. To manage shoulder discomfort and enhance shoulder function, it may sometimes be required to use a combination of therapy approaches.
Tips for preventing shoulder injuries
You can lower your risk of getting chronic shoulder pain and other related disorders by avoiding shoulder injuries. The following advice can help you avoid shoulder injuries:
- Correct Posture
Posture maintenance can lessen stress on the shoulder joint and help prevent injuries. Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and your back is straight when you sit and stand. Don’t hunch and spend too long sitting where possible.
2. Warming up before exercise
Any physical activity should be thoroughly warmed up before beginning. By doing so, the risk of damage can be decreased and blood flow to the muscles increased. Before indulging in intense activity, try doing some gentle stretching or aerobics.
3. Strengthen (but lift weights properly)
Injury risk can be decreased by strengthening the muscles that support the shoulder joint. Consider adding shoulder-strengthening exercises that target all shoulder muscles. A physio could guide you with this. Also ensure you use the right form and technique when lifting weights. By doing this, the chance of damage and stress on the shoulder joint can be decreased. If you’re unsure, ask a fitness expert to demonstrate proper lifting technique.
Achieve Health has specialist personal trainers, injury specialists, physiotherapists and sports rehabilitators who could all help with this specific area. There are clinics and gyms across Birmingham and Solihull.
4. Avoid overuse
Overhead actions performed frequently might strain the shoulder joint and raise the risk of injury. Avoid overusing your shoulder, and if you have pain or discomfort, take rests. Don’t push through pain.
5. Maintain a Healthy weight
Carrying heavy weight can put strain on the shoulder joint and raise the risk of injury. This risk can be decreased by maintaining a healthy weight through consistent exercise and a well-balanced diet.
6. Have a Physio MOT/Screening
Something we also offer is injury prevention assessments. Prevention is always better than cure – we can check your shoulder’s health; range of movement, strength, flexibility, mobility and how you perform exercises. A full MOT can catch things before they cause pain or dysfunction.
You can lessen your risk of getting shoulder discomfort and other related disorders by adopting these guidelines into your everyday practise. Make careful to discuss the best course of action with your doctor and or physio if you do have shoulder discomfort or other symptoms!
Many people can suffer from the misery of shoulder pain. However, you may control your symptoms and enhance the function of your shoulder by being aware of the typical problems that lead to shoulder discomfort, identifying the symptoms and getting a prompt diagnosis, and pursuing the right treatment options. There are several effective ways to manage shoulder discomfort, including rest, treatment, physiotherapy, drugs, surgery, and exercise. For best results, a mix of these treatments may be required.
Additionally, practising good posture, performing warm-up exercises, doing strength training, and managing your weight will help lower your risk of getting shoulder pain and other related disorders. Don’t be afraid to go to your doctor or healthcare provider if you have shoulder discomfort or other symptoms for advice and help.
Remember, maintaining healthy shoulders can help you live a healthier, happier life. Shoulder health is a crucial component of total wellbeing!
There are many causes, ranging from trauma to general tightness and weakness. Some shoulder pains are very acute from a certain injury and others can build up over time due to mis-use or posture + dysfunction. Some certain jobs or sportsa can increase the risk of shoulder pain too.
Your best bet would be to get specialist assessment – seeing a Physiotherapist. Most of the time using special testing, we can diagnose all conditons. Rarely, if needed, we can also refer for xray or MRIs which give a complete idea of whats going on in the shoulder.
Depending on your condition, there are several options and these are different for everyone. Strengethening and mobility exercise pescription is usually key. Hnads on treatment such as deep soft tissue massage, dry needling and acupuncture can be of big benefit too. Some interventions such as pain relief, injections and very occasioanlly surgery too, are also options.
Absolutely. Strong AND mobile shoulders can make a big differnce to painful shoulder. BUT, you’ve got to make sure you’re doing the right thing, in the right way as otherwise you can make things worse or cause more inflammation. Always best to get bespoke advice for you and your anatomy/issue as to ensure safe strengthening.
There are many factors that lead to shoulder pain and dysfunction. Weakness, tightness and poor posture are some of the most common. If you ensure you stay strong and are using muscles in their correct way – you will go a long way to prevent shoulder injuries. Dont ignore pain either – thats your body telling you there’s a problem. Ultimately prevention is better than cure – get your shoulder assessed and we can highlight any issues that could cause problems down the line.
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Rotator cuff injuries, frozen shoulder, arthritis, shoulder bursitis, shoulder impingement and tendonitis are all examples of comon shoulder injuries.