Shoulder pain, how does it occur?

Do you or anyone around you ever complain of Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is a common disorder which affects the quality of life of many. Back pain can be short in duration or sometimes persistent. In most cases, the pain subsides on its own without treatment within a few weeks. However, not every shoulder pain can be self-treated. If you have shoulder pain that does not improve after weeks, shoulder ache associated with numbness or tingling, severe pain that does not improve after rest, and pain after a fall or an injury, you should see doctor immediately or call us to make an appointment at +65 6471 2691

Anatomy of Shoulder

The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. The shoulder joint is formed where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the scapula (shoulder blade), like a ball and socket. Other important bones in the shoulder include:

  • The acromion is a bony projection off the scapula.
  • The clavicle (collarbone) meets the acromion in the acromioclavicular joint.
  • The coracoid process is a hook-like bony projection from the scapula.

The shoulder has several other important structures:

  • The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder, giving it support and allowing a wide range of motion.
  • The bursa is a small sac of fluid that cushions and protects the tendons of the rotator cuff.
  • A cuff of cartilage called the labrum forms a cup for the ball-like head of the humerus to fit into.

The humerus fits relatively loosely into the shoulder joint. This gives the shoulder a wide range of motion, but also makes it vulnerable to injury.

Introduction of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain includes any pain that arises in or around your shoulder. Shoulder pain may originate in the joint itself, or from any of the many surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons. Shoulder pain usually worsens with activities or movement of your arm or shoulder.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. A group of four tendons in the shoulder, called the rotator cuff, give the shoulder a wide range of motion.

Swelling, damage, or bone changes around the rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain. You may have pain when lifting the arm above your head or moving it forward or behind the back.

Symptoms of Shoulder Pain

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness and warmth around the joint
  • Limited Range of movement

What causes Shoulder Pain?

  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis – the most common cause of shoulder pain – when rotator cuff tendons become trapped under the bony area in the shoulder. The tendons become inflamed or damaged.
  • Fracture shoulder bone, e.g. Collar Bone
  • Frozen shoulder, which occurs when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments inside the shoulder become stiff, making movement difficult and painful
  • Overuse or injury of nearby tendons, such as the bicep muscles of your arms
  • Dislocation of your shoulder
  • Bursitis is Inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) that normally protects the joint and helps it move smoothly
  • Arthritis in the shoulder joint

Sometimes, shoulder pain may be due to a problem in another area of the body, such as the neck or lungs. This is called “referred pain.” People with this type of pain usually do not have pain when moving the shoulder.

How is Shoulder Pain diagnosed?

  • X-rays: Plain X-rays can reveal narrowing of the space between two spinal bones, arthritis-like diseases, tumors, slipped discs, narrowing of the spinal canal, fractures and instability of the spinal column.
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a noninvasive procedure that can reveal the detail of neural (nerve-related) elements.

Treatment for Shoulder Pain

All treatments will be varied on individual depending on the source of pain.

Treatment for shoulder pain may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Injection of a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine called a corticosteroid
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery if all other treatments do not work

Prevention for Shoulder Pain

  • If you have had shoulder pain before, use ice and take anti-inflammatory medicine after exercising.
  • Learn proper exercises to stretch and strengthen your rotator cuff tendons and shoulder muscles. A doctor or physical therapist can help.
  • If you are recovering from tendinitis, continue to perform range-of-motion exercises to avoid “frozen shoulder.”

For more information, please call (65) 6471 2691