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Shoulder Pain: Why it hurts & When to worry?

Updated: May 16, 2023

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. Shoulder is really several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion in the arm — from scratching your back to throwing the perfect pitch. Because of its extensive range of motion, it’s susceptible to injury and pain. Mobility has its price, however. It may lead to increasing problems with instability or impingement of the soft tissue or bony structures in your shoulder, resulting in pain. You may feel pain only when you move your shoulder, or all of the time. The shoulder can hurt after it has been injured or for no apparent reason. And though most shoulder problems are relatively short-lived, the pain is sometimes indicative of a more complex issue.

No Worries:

Slight pain with elevation and when playing overhead sports is common. The tendons are covered by a thin layer called a bursa, which swells when irritated. The resulting bursitis is filled with inflammatory components that irritate the nerve fibers, sending pain signals to the brain. Eliminating overhead activities and the occasional use of anti-inflammatories usually cures mild bursitis or tendonitis and solves the problem.

What To Do:

Specific shoulder exercises start with posture correction. Stand with your shoulders at or behind your hips with your belly button tucked in and notice the difference. By squeezing your shoulder blades together repetitively during the day, with your stomach in and head up, you can correct your posture and relieve mild impingement pain. Perform all exercises for the shoulder with your hands below the level of the shoulder, then use free weights and resistance cords for internal and external strengthening exercises, including biceps curls and triceps pushes.

More Worry:

Pain that does not go away or pain that occurs with every activity indicates that the key tissues are irritated enough that they are sending pain signals even without motion. This degree of inflammation precedes more structural injuries—such as tears of the tissue or early arthritis.

Real Worry:

Pain at night or pain not improving with therapy after four weeks are red flags. Pain radiating down the arm or up to the neck or to the back is also worrisome, and may indicate injuries not just of the shoulder but sometimes of the neck.

Top Reasons for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Arthritis: This can be because of regular wear and tear.

Frozen Shoulder: If you have a frozen shoulder, the inner lining of your shoulder has become tight. This is stopping you from having full motion and additionally causing pain.

Shoulder Dislocation: A dislocation is when the ball slides out of the socket. Athletic harm or falls most generally causes shoulder Dislocation.

Shoulder Fractures: A shoulder fracture is another word for a broken shoulder. It may be due to breaking of the ball, socket or scapula.

Rotator Cuff Injuries: The rotator cuff is in which the four tendons that encompass the ball of the shoulder meet. Injuries to the rotator cuff can reason shoulder pain.

What To Do:

Persistent pain requires a full examination, X-rays, and an MRI. While an ultrasound exam can also add information, nothing gives a more complete picture than an exam with X-ray and MRI imaging. Once a definitive diagnosis is made, targeted therapy can begin.

Physical Therapy : Posture correction exercise, Shoulder strenthening exercise, ROM exercise, Scapular Stabilising Exercise.

For inflammations and even small tears, injections of biologic therapies, combined with shoulder-specific exercises, may be curative.

Arthroscopic Repairs For tears of the labrum and the rotator cuff, a careful decision must be made to select which should be repaired and how the repair is performed.

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