Shoulder pain can make it difficult for you to perform upper body movements and normally go about your everyday life. You won’t be able to perform daily tasks, play sports, enjoy time with your loved ones, or do your work efficiently with shoulder pain in the way.
If you want to relieve the pain, you have to get the proper treatment. To get effective treatment in a timely manner, it’s important to know what’s causing the aches. Below are some of the most common causes of shoulder pain.
Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff includes muscles and tendons or fibrous bands of tissue that attach your muscles to bones. It surrounds your shoulder joint, where the ball of your upper arm bone meets your shoulder blade. Your rotator cuff works to stabilize the ball-and-socket connection, and damage to that group of muscles and tendons could lead to pain. Some examples of rotator cuff injury include:
- Rotator cuff tendonitis – the inflammation, stiffness, and irritation of your tendons, usually resulting from repetitive overhead movements.
- Rotator cuff tear – the partial or total tearing of the tendon connected to your upper arm bone, commonly caused by repeated upward arm motions or landing on an outstretched arm.
- Rotator cuff bursitis – the inflammation and swelling of the bursae or the fluid sacs that act as cushions to support your shoulder movements.
Most rotator cuff injuries are caused by overuse and repetitive upward movements. These motions put pressure on your muscles and tendons, and force them to rub against each other.
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Shoulder impingement syndrome involves the pinching sensation experienced by your rotator cuff. The previous injuries we’ve mentioned sometimes cause swelling, pushing your muscles and tendons to rub together because of the limited space. It will feel uncomfortable at first and, in some cases, lead to more pain and swelling caused by the rubbing sensation.
Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, refers to the condition where your joint movement becomes severely limited. It results from the inflammation and scarring of your capsule, the tissue that surrounds your shoulder. The capsule has folds that adjust to support your arm movements. If those folds become scarred, they won’t be able to support your joints and will end up restricting your motions. It may be painful to try forcing your shoulder to move.
Osteoarthritis leads to the deterioration of your joint cartilage, or the flexible tissue that supports and cushions your bones. It is chronic and considered the most common type of arthritis. The condition may be categorized into two:
- Primary osteoarthritis – the joint cartilage deteriorates due to normal wear and tear over time
- Secondary osteoarthritis – other injuries or diseases cause damage to the cartilage
Aside from injuries and diseases, the condition may result from age, genetic defects, excess weight, or joint overuse and misuse. It’s characterized by pain, stiffness, decreasing range of motion, and a grinding sensation when moving your shoulder for advanced stages.
Arm Or Collarbone Fracture
A fracture refers to the breaking of one or more bones. These two fractures may lead to shoulder pain:
- Arm fracture – involves breaking any of the three bones in the arm, the humerus in the upper arm or the ulna and radius in the forearm
- Collarbone fracture – refers to breaking the bone connecting the breastbone and shoulder blade
Broken bones can be open or close fractures. It’s an open fracture if a bone pierces the skin, while it’s closed if the skin remains intact. Breaking your collarbone may lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving your shoulder. You may also notice a protrusion near the joint.
When To See A Doctor
Most cases of shoulder pain can be resolved using home treatment. However, you should see your doctor if your pain doesn’t improve or worsens over time. You should also book a consultation if the aching is crippling or prevents you from doing simple things. Some examples include washing your hair or putting a shirt on.
Visit your physician if you observe other symptoms like deformation, swelling, tingling, weakness, chest pain, or feeling light-headed. The latter symptoms may indicate a heart attack and require immediate medical assistance. Your provider can perform different exams and tests to get an accurate diagnosis and develop the right treatment plan.
Treatment For Shoulder Pain In Kansas City
Shoulder pain can render you unable to perform tasks, go to work, play sports, or live your life normally. It’s essential for you to receive proper treatment, but you have to know what’s causing the pain first. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include rotator cuff injuries, impingement, frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, and fractures. You should see your doctor if the pain is crippling, not improving, or inhibits you from performing simple tasks.
If you’re looking for patient-centered treatment for shoulder pain in Kansas City, look no further than Midwest Orthopaedics. We have a team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons who can give you the comprehensive care you deserve. If you want to know more about our services, you may call our friendly staff at (913) 362-8317. If you want to book a consultation with our providers, you may use our secure online appointment request form.
We look forward to serving you!