What Could Be The Cause Of Your Shoulder Pain?
Your shoulder is more than just one joint. It’s actually comprised of several joints, tendons, and muscles to allow for a wide range of motion in the arm.
Most of us take this complex network for granted – until we encounter pain, stiffness, or immobility when trying to move the joint. We are experts in caring for all kinds of musculoskeletal problems and our treatments offered range from surgery, to physical therapy, stem cell or PRP injections, and more.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the most common causes of shoulder pain:
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Most common shoulder problems fall into one of these categories:
- Inflammation in the tendon or tendon tear
- Instability in the joint
Inflammation may result in bursitis or tendinitis. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that help cushion the bones of the shoulder joint. They help reduce friction between the muscle and bone for ease of movement.
Bursitis: Excessive use of the shoulder can lead to inflammation and swelling of the bursa. This can impact movement and inflame other regions of the shoulder joint as well. Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that are located in joints throughout the body, including the shoulder.
They act as cushions between bones and the overlying soft tissues, and help reduce friction between the gliding muscles and the bone.
Tendinitis involves inflammation of the tendons in this joint. Tendons help connect muscle to bone and provide stability in the joint. There are two types of tendinitis: acute and chronic. Acute tendinitis is a sudden onset of inflammation in the tendon, which usually goes away after ice, NSAIDs, and rest.
Chronic tendinitis can result from arthritis or repetitive wear and tear due to lifestyle habits, age, etc. A tendon is a cord that connects muscle to bone, and when it gets inflamed, you’ll know – you’ll have difficulty moving your shoulder without pain.
The most commonly affected tendons in the shoulder are your four rotator cuff tendons. The rotator cuff is made of small muscles and their tendons that cover the top of your upper arm bone and keep it secured in the shoulder socket.
Shoulder instability can occur when the top of the upper arm is forced out of the shoulder socket, or in milder cases, when the rotator cuff muscles and tendons tear or stretch, allowing for pain and unsteadinesss in the joint.
Partial dislocations mean that the upper arm bone was not completely forced out of the shoulder socket. This can be caused by both a sudden injury or just overuse.
A complete dislocation means that the upper arm bone has been completely separated from the socket.
In either case, once the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the shoulder become loose or torn, dislocations can recur and unsteadiness in the joint can create inflammation. Repeated dislocations and partial dislocations can also lead to an increased risk of developing arthritis.
One of the most common types of arthritis responsible for shoulder pain is osteoarthritis – commonly known as “wear and tear” arthritis.
Symptoms of this type of arthritis include swelling, stiffness, and pain in the shoulder joint, and most commonly occur in those who are middle aged.
This type of arthritis develops slowly and worsens over time.
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and aren’t sure what to do next, click below to make your appointment today! Our expert staff will assess your pain and recommend treatment paths that will help you get back to the things you love.