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Shoulder Pain

2110 S 17th St


600 Beaman St
Clinton, NC 28328

116 N Norwood St
Wallace, NC 28466

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain refers to discomfort or pain in the shoulder joint, which is a complex structure involving bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It can arise from various causes and conditions affecting the shoulder area, including injuries, overuse, degenerative conditions, or underlying systemic issues.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain:

  1. Rotator Cuff Injuries: Tears, strains, or inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles and tendons, which support and stabilize the shoulder joint.

  2. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Compression of the rotator cuff tendons and bursa (fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction) between the shoulder blade and the head of the humerus bone.

  3. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): Stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint due to thickening and tightening of the shoulder capsule, limiting movement.

  4. Shoulder Arthritis: Degenerative joint disease affecting the shoulder, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

  5. Shoulder Instability: Dislocation or subluxation of the shoulder joint due to trauma or repetitive strain.

  6. Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae (fluid-filled sacs) that cushion the joints and reduce friction.

  7. Tendonitis: Inflammation or irritation of the tendons in the shoulder, such as biceps tendonitis or supraspinatus tendonitis.

  8. Fractures: Broken bones in the shoulder area, such as the collarbone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), or upper arm bone (humerus).

  9. Referred Pain: Pain originating from other areas, such as the neck, upper back, or chest, but perceived in the shoulder region.

Symptoms of Shoulder Pain:

  • Pain: Dull ache or sharp pain in the shoulder joint or surrounding areas.

  • Stiffness: Difficulty moving the shoulder joint or decreased range of motion.

  • Weakness: Reduced strength or ability to lift objects or perform daily activities.

  • Swelling: Visible swelling or tenderness around the shoulder joint.

  • Instability: Feeling of the shoulder joint slipping out of place or feeling loose.

  • Clicking or Popping: Audible or palpable sensations of clicking, popping, or grinding within the shoulder joint.

Common Injuries Associated with Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain itself can result from injuries or conditions affecting the shoulder complex:

  1. Rotator Cuff Tears: Partial or complete tears of the rotator cuff tendons due to acute injury or degenerative changes.

  2. Labral Tears: Tears in the labrum (cartilage rim around the socket of the shoulder joint) due to trauma or repetitive motion.

  3. Shoulder Dislocation: Displacement of the shoulder joint's ball (humeral head) from its socket (glenoid), often due to trauma or instability.

  4. Biceps Tendon Rupture: Tear or rupture of the biceps tendon, usually near its attachment to the shoulder or elbow.

  5. Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Separation: Injury to the ligaments holding the collarbone (clavicle) to the shoulder blade (acromion), commonly due to falls or trauma.

Prevention and Management

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoid activities that aggravate shoulder pain and modify daily activities to reduce strain on the shoulder joint.

  • Ice or Heat Therapy: Apply ice packs or heat pads to the affected shoulder to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

  • Physical Therapy: Perform specific exercises to strengthen the shoulder muscles, improve flexibility, and restore range of motion.

  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relievers, or corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Shoulder Bracing or Support: Use of supportive braces or slings to stabilize the shoulder joint and promote healing.

  • Surgical Intervention: In cases of severe or persistent shoulder pain that does not respond to conservative treatments, surgical procedures such as arthroscopy, rotator cuff repair, or shoulder replacement may be necessary.

  • Postural Correction: Improving posture and ergonomic habits to reduce strain on the shoulders during daily activities.

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking (which can impair healing), and incorporating regular exercise to promote overall shoulder health.

Effective management of shoulder pain involves identifying the underlying cause, implementing appropriate treatment strategies, and addressing contributing factors to prevent recurrence and optimize shoulder function and quality of life. Consultation with a healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist is recommended for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans.

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