What Causes Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
This condition is often caused by or associated with repetitive overhead activities such as throwing, raking, washing cars or windows and many other types of highly repetitive motions. It may also occur as a result of an injury. Rotator cuff injuries are the most common cause of shoulder pain and limitation of activities in sports in all age groups. Rotator cuff tendonitis is the mildest form of rotator cuff injury.
The shoulder has a unique arrangement of muscle and bone. The rotator cuff is sandwiched between two bones much like a sock lies between the heel and the edge of a shoe. In the same way that repeated walking eventually wears out the sock, the rotator cuff muscles fray with repeated rubbing on the bone. As the muscle begins to fray, it responds to the injury by becoming inflamed and painful. With continued fraying, like a rope, it may eventually tear.
Home Remedies For Upper Arm Pain
- Have a rest – Resting the affected area can help your body repair the damage that is causing your arm to be sore.
- Ice – Icing the affected area can help take down swelling that may be contributing to your discomfort. Apply ice packs for 10-20 minutes at a time three or more times a day for the best results. After the first 72 hours, alternate these cold packs with heat and gentle exercise to promote flexibility.
- Compression – Wrapping a sore arm can help decrease swelling. Work to bandage your arm in a way that will provide adequate support but is not so tight as to cut off the circulation. If you start to experience numbness or tingling after you apply compression to your arm, rewrap it more loosely.
- Elevation – Elevating a sore limb can also help take down swelling. Lie down and place the arm above the heart for best results.
- Massage – Massaging a sore arm can help increase blood flow, causing the arm to feel better. Do not continue with your massage if it causes you any pain.
- Stop smoking – Smoking decreases the blood supply throughout the body, slowing down the healing process. Stop smoking until your arm has had a chance to heal properly.
- Take off accessories – Wearing watches or jewelry on the hand and arm can be dangerous if your arm is injured. If the arm begins to swell it can be difficult to remove these pieces later. This can also cut off the circulation to other parts of the body.
Typical Symptoms Of Pinched Nerve
The common symptoms of a pinched nerve include shoulder pain or electrical shooting sensations down the arm. They can consist of muscle weakness or a numb feeling, aches, or a tingling sensation . The severity of the pain varies based on the location and cause of the trapped nerve. A common complaint from some patients is waking up with a sore or frozen neck.
A pinched nerve usually only causes pain in one shoulder. Often, its a sharp pain instead of a dull ache or discomfort similar to that you may experience when youve overworked your muscles.
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When To See A Doctor
Many causes of arm pain can be managed with some simple treatments, but there are signs that you should see a doctor urgently.
Some of the signs of a more concerning source of arm pain include:
- Pain or pressure in your chest, symptoms of a heart attack
- A sudden injury that causes severe pain or deformity, indicating a possible fracture or dislocation
- Severe pain is not improved with appropriate simple treatment steps
- Worsening swelling or redness around the painful region
What Is A Trapped Nerve
A trapped nerve is a non-scientific term used to describe the pressure exerted on a nerve by either bone, soft tissue, or a herniated disc if youre suffering from a trapped nerve, its essential to understand the causes as well as any potential treatment options available.
First, lets take a look at what causes the problem.
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Understanding The Shoulder And Elbow
A shoulder is what is known as a ball-and-socket joint. This is because the upper arm has a rounded shape that fits into a hollow socket in the shoulder blade. The joints within the shoulder are very flexible, in fact, more flexible than any other joint in the body.
The elbow is a hinge joint connecting the forearm to the upper part of the arm. A hinge joint allows for flexibility in the lower part of the arm.
The shoulder and elbow are held together with ligaments, tendons and various soft tissues. Ligaments connect bones to other bones, where tendons connect bones to muscles. A thin layer of cartilage covers these areas and eases any friction during movement. If there is damage, from disease or injury, you may experience pain, numbness or a weakened range of motion. Because the shoulder and elbow are so heavily utilized, they are commonly prone to injury or disorder.
Complications Of Arm Pain
Aches and pains in your arm, shoulder, or wrist can make it difficult to write, type, talk on the phone, or go about your daily activities.
If left undiagnosed and untreated, some types of injuries and inflammation may lead to serious tissue damage that requires surgery or other extensive treatment.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
The classic symptoms include a toothache like pain radiating from the outer arm to several inches below the top of the shoulder. Pain may also occur in the front and top of the shoulder. It may interfere with sleeping comfortably. It may even awaken people from a sound sleep with a nagging pain in the upper arm.
The symptoms are usually aggravated by raising the arms overhead or in activities that require reaching behind the body, such as retrieving an object from the back seat of a car. Furthermore, reaching behind the back to fasten underclothing or to pass a belt may aggravate the arm and shoulder pain.
A clicking in the shoulder may occur when raising the arm above the head.
Shoulder And Elbow Injuries
It is very important to work with your doctor to correctly classify a shoulder or elbow injury so effective treatment can be administered. Common shoulder and elbow injuries include:
Tennis Elbow Inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles, caused by tension, heavy use or trauma. Manifests as swelling and pain in the elbow, worsened by movement of the palm.
Golfers Elbow Inflammation of the elbow joint where the bone is attached to the tendon. Golfers elbow is caused by repeated movements and can cause limited mobility, swelling and pain.
Tendonitis Inflammation and irritation of the shoulder or elbow tendon from overuse or injury and causes impingement of tendons and nerves. Over time the pinching can lead to heightened pain and pain in other areas of the body.
Rotator Cuff Injury The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, keeping the upper arm bone firmly in the socket of the elbow. If these tendons are sprained or torn it can lead to sharp pain, and if left untreated will lead to further damage to the shoulder joint.
Shoulder or Elbow Dislocation An injury that causes the bone to become dislodged and moved out of place from the joint. Dislocation causes damage to the surrounding tendons, muscles and nerves.
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Pinched Nerves: Causes Of Shoulder Pain Radiating Down Your Arm
There are two common causes of pinched nerves: degenerative changes through aging or injury.
Your spinal column consists of 24 bones stacked on top of each other, called vertebrae. The cervical spine contains seven small vertebrae that begin at the skull base and form the neck. The job of the spinal column is to protect your delicate spinal cord. The spinal cord comprises electrical cables that carry signals up and down the body of a human beings control center.
As our body ages, the vertebrae in our spine shorten and swell, drying out in the process. As the length of the vertebrae shortens, they move closer to each other. The body reacts by forming extra bone to reinforce the region around the disc, often trapping nerve endings in the process.
This degenerative process is often referred to as arthritis and is usually not cause for alarm. Arthritis is a common occurrence in an aging body, and for the most part, will affect nearly everyone in their lifetime. Rest assured that worn discs occur in almost half of the middle-aged population, and for most, they cause few issues.
In younger patients, a herniated disc is usually a result of injury associated with awkward movements, such as lifting objects that are too heavy. Here, the center of the vertebrae pushes against the outside of the disc. This process puts external pressure on the nerve ending, which causes discomfort and weakness in the area.
Warning Signs Of More Serious Arm & Shoulder Problems
In some instances, shoulder pain and arm pain can indicate more serious problems. These problems might include cancer, fractures, infection, severe nerve compression and ankylosis spondylitis.
If there is cancer in the bones of the spine, this usually means metastases .
Fractures of the spine can be caused by a direct hit, fall, accident but sometimes can occur without trauma, called spontaneous fractures. Spontaneous fractures, usually can occur in elderly people with osteoporosis or those who may be taking steroid medications that weaken the bone.
Infections of the spine tend to occur if patients have a weakened immune system from any cause or medical condition. Sometimes infections of the spine can occur if there is an infection elsewhere in the body. People with spinal infections usually feel unwell and can have sweats and a fever.
Nerve compression, called myelopathy, where there is a dangerous compression of the spinal cord in the neck. Myelopathy could cause symptoms that might include, weakness or problems with coordination in the arms, hands, legs, or even feet.
Ankylosing spondylitis is progressive arthritis of the spine and can cause widespread inflammation, pain and stiffness throughout the spine.
Seek urgent and specialist medical advice if:
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Biceps Tendon Tear
The most obvious symptom will be a sudden, severe pain in the upper part of your arm or at the elbow, depending on where the tendon is injured. You may hear or feel a “pop” when a tendon tears. Other signs that you may have torn a biceps tendon can include:
- Sharp pain at the shoulder or elbow.
- A bruise that appears on the upper arm or forearm near the elbow.
- A feeling of weakness in the shoulder or elbow.
- Trouble rotating your arm from a “palm down” to a “palm up” position.
- A change in the contour of the front of your bicep in the upper arm .
While surgery may be needed to fix a torn tendon, in many cases people with a torn tendon can still function normally. Symptoms can be relieved using the same treatments that are used to treat tendonitis. Tears at the level of the elbow more often require operative repair.
Treating Right Arm Pain
If the pain in your right arm is benign, it can be alleviated with rest and painkillers. If you have tendinitis, your doctor will prescribe rest for your arm along with anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapy. If the pain is due to a nerve problem, treating this underlying cause will help to relieve the pain. Finally, if the cause of the pain is a fractured bone in your arm, you will need to have a plaster cast and follow this up with a course of physiotherapy.
There are also some solutions which offer drug-free relief from certain types of arm pain. This is a key feature of the OMRON HeatTens range of pain relievers using a combination of soothing heat and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, these devices can give you effective relief from joint and muscle pain.
John, T. . Causes of pain in the right arm. Retrieved from www.livestrong.com/article/223661-causes-of-pain-in-the-right-arm/
Quinene, P. Causes of arm pain between the wrist and elbow. Retrieved from www.livestrong.com/article/236340-causes-of-pain-in-the-arm-between-the-wrist-elbow/
PassportSanté . Arm pain. Retrieved from www.passeportsante.net/fr/Maux/Symptomes/Fiche.aspx?doc=douleurs-bras-symptome
Marsaudon, X. . Pain in the arm. Retrieved from www.docteurclic.com/symptome/douleur-du-bras.aspx
Presles, P. . Pain in the arm. Retrieved from www.e-sante.fr/douleur-dans-bras/symptome-maladie/683
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Shoulder And Elbow Treatment
Most shoulder and elbow pain can be cured with R.I.C.E. method . This coupled with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs can help to relieve swelling and reduce pain.
Using a splint, brace or sling helps a particular area of the body to rest until the pain subsides. These shouldnt, however, be used indefinitely as they can lead to lowered flexibility and reduce muscle mass.
If the pain is not residing with conservative treatment your doctor may recommend physical therapy or other treatments, such as injections, that can assist in healing.
Causes Of Pain In The Left Arm & Elbow
You might not be aware of how much you use your left arm on a daily basis until you begin experiencing pain in that arm and elbow.The most common causes for pain in the left arm and elbow include injury, inflammation, nerve damage, or a heart-related condition 3. Each of these causes may present with initial symptoms of pain in the left arm and elbow 3.**
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Causes Of Shoulder Elbow And Wrist Pain
Although many disorders can cause pain, the most common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinitis. The most common elbow disorder is epicondylitis , and common wrist disorder is usually Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These disorders can be from acute injuries but are more commonly from overuse or repetitive use. These conditions can also include other causes including:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Frozen shoulder
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis And Impingement Syndrome
Four muscles make up the rotator cuff. These muscles move the shoulder away from the side of the body and turn it inward and outward. Rotator cuff tendinitis occurs when shoulder injury or overuse causes tendons to become irritated or inflamed. Impingement occurs when the tendons are pinched between structures that are involved in shoulder motion. Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in the upper shoulder or upper third of the arm aching in the shoulder region difficulty sleeping on the shoulder or pain when lifting the arm overhead.
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Arm Pain & Shoulder Pain
Arm and shoulder pain and injuries are common.
Problems with the shoulder and arm can affect all aspects of life from getting dressed to driving a car and even working productively.
There are a few reasons for shoulders being prone to injury and pain one reason is because the shoulder joint can move around in so many ways and is the most mobile of all the joints. Another reason is because the actual shoulder joint has a very small surface contact area, which means that the joint is unstable and open to injury. This explains why the shoulder muscles are so very important in securing and stabilising the shoulder joint.
Shoulder pain and arm pain can often be related to problems in the neck or even back. Its important that whoever assesses the pain makes sure that the pain is not being caused by neck problems.
Most of the time more than one cause for the pain may occur at the same time, which can then make assessing and managing shoulder pain and arm pain more complex.
What Are Biceps Tendon Tears
In cases of serious or constant overuse, a tendon may fray and eventually tear. A tendon can also tear as part of an injury, such as moving or twisting your elbow or shoulder in an awkward way, or falling down with your arm outstretched. At the elbow, the bicep tendon most often tears during the act of lifting a heavy object .
A biceps tendon tear can happen at either the shoulder or the elbow. A tear can also be complete or partial. A complete tear means the tendon has torn away from the bone.
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Pain In Arm Between Elbow And Shoulder
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To Protect Your Shoulders:
- Avoid activities that require you to reach overhead for long periods.
- Don’t move your shoulder repeatedly for a prolonged period .
- Do range-of-motion exercises to maintain strength and flexibility.
- Use good posture.
- Don’t grip tools or pens too tightly.
- Don’t clench your fists.
- Avoid repeated hand and finger motions.
- Don’t lean on your elbows, and avoid bumping them.
- Use a forearm band during physical activity.
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When To Go To The Emergency Room
Call 911 or go to the emergency room for an elbow or shoulder injury with severe bleeding, or broken bones that have broken through the skin.
Shoulder pain could also be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately if your shoulder pain:
- is sudden or sharp,
- is accompanied by shortness of breath,
- extends from your chest to the left jaw, arm, or neck
- is accompanied by chest pain or chest tightness.