Shoulder Pain Causes – Dr. Vasudeva Explains
The shoulder joint is a versatile joint as it offers a wide range of motions. Being the most mobile joint, it allows the shoulder to move forward and backward. The shoulder joint also allows circular movement of the arm – upward and downward movement and also a movement away from the body. Any problem with this joint affects the overall movement and the ability of the shoulder to move freely. It also causes huge discomfort and pain.
Rotator Cuff Muscles
Rotator cuff muscles allow a wide range of motion to the shoulder. These muscles have tendons that help connect muscles to bone. When these four tendons of the rotator cuff muscles get inflamed, swollen, or damaged, it becomes very painful to move the arms over the head.
About Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint has three main bones. It is a ball and socket joint. The long arm bone is the humerus, the scapula is the shoulder blade and the collarbone is the clavicle. A layer of cartilage cushions these bones. There are two main shoulder joints: 1. Acromioclavicular joint – This joint is between the clavicle and the highest part of the scapula. 2. Glenohumeral joint – This joint is the main shoulder joint (ball and socket joint). The ball-shaped humerus bone fits in the outer edge of the scapula.
Shoulder Pain Causes
There are several conditions and factors that can contribute to shoulder pain. Sporting activities, contact and high-impact sports, manual labor and constant hard work, and repetitive movement can injure the shoulder. Sometimes, certain health conditions such as cervical spondylitis, diseases of the neck and spine, heart disease, and liver disorders can also cause shoulder pain. The pain in this case actually radiates to the shoulder.
Another common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinitis. The tendons become inflamed and swollen in this case.
Impingement syndrome: In this condition, the rotator cuff muscle gets caught between the humeral head and the acromium (the part of the scapula that covers the ball portion of the humerus).
Referred shoulder pain: In this type of condition, shoulder pain may be due to problems in another part of the body – most commonly biceps or the neck This type of pain may not get worse when the person having it moves the shoulder.
Other common shoulder pain causes include:
- Shoulder injury due to repetitive use or overuse
- Dislocated shoulder
- Broken arm bone or broken shoulder
- A pinched nerve in the shoulder or neck
- Development of bony projections along the shoulder bones edges (Bone spurs)
- Swollen tendons or bursa sacs
- Rotator cuff muscles tear
- Torn cartilage
- frozen shoulder
- spinal cord injury
- heart attack
Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain
When you see your orthopaedic doctor for your shoulder pain, the doctor will try to find out the exact cause of your problem. They, first of all, do a complete physical examination and go through your medical history. An experienced shoulder specialist in Hyderabad feels for swelling and tenderness around the shoulder joint and also assesses a wide range of shoulder movements and keenly evaluates joint stability. Shoulder specialists may order joint X-rays, and also more detailed scans – such as MRI to get minute details of the shoulder joint for prompt diagnosis of the cause.
People who are involved in high-risk contact sports and other sporting activities are prone to shoulder injuries. Growing age is also a risk factor for a shoulder injury as the soft tissues around the joint tend to become weak and thus begin to deteriorate with age. Mild cases of shoulder pain can be managed with home remedies. In some cases, you may need medicines and physical therapy. However, surgery may also become necessary in certain cases.
If your shoulder pain is sudden and not related to an injury or any other cause, then you must take emergency medical help. In addition, if you feel tenderness and heat around your shoulder joint, inability to move your shoulder, lasting bruising, fever, and pain that persist for more than a week – then meet your Orthopedic doctor as early as possible.