Causes Of Shoulder Impingement
When you lift your arm, the;rotator cuff tendon;passes through a narrow space at the top of;your shoulder,;known as;the;subacromial space.
Shoulder impingement;happens when the tendon rubs or catches on the bone at the top of this space, called the acromion.
This can be caused by:
- the tendon;becoming swollen, thickened or;torn; this can be due to an injury, overuse of the shoulder or “wear and tear” with age
- the fluid-filled sac found;between the tendon and acromion becoming irritated and inflamed;; this can also be caused by an injury or overuse of the shoulder
- the acromion being curved or hooked, rather than flat; this tends to be something you’re born with
- bony growths on the acromion; these can develop as you get older
Page last reviewed: 29 April 2020 Next review due: 29 April 2023
Pain From The Shoulder To The Hand
Many causes of right shoulder and arm pain are localized in the area of the shoulder and upper arm. But some can cause pain that can be felt all the way down to your hand. These include:
- Cervical radiculopathy: This condition can cause sharp pain that can move from the area of your neck and shoulder all the way down your arm.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome: Pain from TOS can be present from your shoulder down to your hand and fingers.
- Brachial plexus injuries: As discussed earlier, this type of injury could affect your arm and hand.
What Causes Left Shoulder Pain
Left shoulder pain can affect anyone and may be caused by a number of different issues, which may stem directly from the shoulder joint itself or be referred from surrounding areas. ;
The most common causes of upper left arm pain fall into five categories:
- Bone Problems: Fractures, Dislocation, Arthritis
- Spinal/Nerve Problems: Disc Bulge, Trapped Nerve, Brachial Neuritis
People who are left hand dominant in particular may suffer from upper left arm pain due to frequent, repetitive use of the shoulder.;;
Now lets look at each of these causes of left shoulder pain in a bit more detail. Please remember, any new incidence of upper arm pain should be assessed by your doctor to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
Also Check: Can A Tooth Infection Cause Neck Pain
When To Get Medical Help
See a GP if you have shoulder pain that does not go away after a few weeks or is stopping you from doing your normal activities.
They’ll look at your shoulder and ask you to move your arm in different;ways to see how easily you can move it and if movement makes the pain worse.
They may suggest some treatments you can try or;refer you to a physiotherapist for treatment advice. You probably will not need to go to hospital for any scans.
You can also go straight to a physiotherapist without seeing a GP, but you might need to pay.
How Is Arm & Shoulder Pain Treated
Once postural correction has been attempted, and following aware state diagnosis, the patient is treated using Endoscopic Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery or Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression. This facilitates accurate clearance of degenerate products within the disc and enables compressed or trapped nerves to be relieved by shrinking the posterior wall of the disc. At the same time leaks and tears in the wall can be sealed and bone spurs projecting from the vertebra and facet joints pinching the nerves can be removed.
Also Check: How To Sleep With Wrist Pain
How Does The Shoulder Work
Your shoulders each have two joints, making them the most flexible parts of your body.
The main shoulder joint the glenohumeral is a ball-and-socket joint. Its called this because the top of the upper arm bone the humerus is shaped like a ball. This ball fits into the shoulder blade bone, which acts as the socket, giving your shoulder a wide range of movement.
But, the shoulder socket is very small, compared to other ball-and-socket joints, such as the hip. Its held together and controlled by a covering of muscles, which are secured to the bones by strong cords called tendons.
These muscles and tendons form a capsule around the joint and support its movements, but can make it more likely to dislocate than other joints.
Inside the capsule is the synovium, which produces fluid that lubricates the joint and keeps the cartilage healthy. The cartilage helps protect your bones from any impact and sits between the bones of your shoulder joints to stop them rubbing together.
Above the main shoulder joint theres a smaller joint where the top of the shoulder blade the acromion meets the collar bone.
This is known as the acromioclavicular joint. It helps the larger joint below to move through its full range, particularly when youre raising your arm, lifting or throwing.
What Is Shoulder Pain That Radiates Down The Arm
Published on: 1st July 2019
Have you ever experienced an ache or pinching sensation in your arm that wont go away?
If so, youre not alone. Persistent arm pain is one of the more common complaints we see here at Chris Bailey Orthopaedics.
Given that we specialise in knees and shoulders, you may find that slightly strange. But then pain is a slippery customer. Just because you feel discomfort in one part of your body doesnt mean the problem originated there. It may be referred, as doctors put it, from somewhere else.
And so it is with arm pain. Quite often, we find that ongoing discomfort in the arm is actually caused by the shoulder. Which can cause confusion during the examination. Why are you focusing on my shoulder? people ask. Youre six inches too high! We can understand the frustration.
Read Also: Can Anaemia Cause Stomach Pain
Muscle Pain In The Upper Arm: Description Of The Self
Self-massages for specific muscles and parts of the body are described below.
They should help you in treating your pain.
You probably wont need to massage all of the areas described.
I do, however, recommend that you carefully read through all of the descriptions at least once, and check all of the featured muscles.
Then, only put those which are tense or painful on your massage list.
This might take some time, but it will pay off. I promise!
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.
Read Also: Why Do You Get Sciatica Pain
What Is The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is the neck region of your spinal column. It’s made up of seven;small, highly mobile bones, and their associated ligaments, muscles, and shock-absorbing discs.
Anything that aggravates or comes into contact with your spinal nerve roots can lead to radiculopathy, and that includes several common conditions in which growths or abnormalities cause something to invade the space of the nerve root.
- Herniated disc: The shock-absorbing discs between vertebrae can become damaged and may develop a bulge and/or leak fluid.
- Synovial cyst: These lumps are caused by a buildup of joint fluid that forms a sac.
- Bone spur: An extra bit of bone forms in response to damage or chronic inflammation.
- Cervical spondylosis : This condition involves the formation of bone spurs in the neck.
- Spinal stenosis: An advanced stage of spinal arthritis, stenosis occurs when the spaces in the spine become narrowed, usually due to excess bone growth.
- Degenerative disc disease : Discs between vertebrae erode and fray over time, which may cause a herniated disc. In cases of severe degeneration, bone-on-bone contact can cause bone spurs in the joint.
Rotator Cuff Muscle Damage
Common Presentation: Sudden or gradual onset of a dull ache deep inside the shoulder and weakness. Activities with the arm above the head or behind the back most commonly affected
Overview: Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of left shoulder pain. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint and control its movement and stability. Tears can develop gradually over time through wear and tear, typically over the age of 40, or suddenly with an injury typically younger people. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the extent of the tear.
Find out more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of;Rotator Cuff Tears >
Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Heal A Broken Wrist
Outside Of The Shoulder
Several issues can cause pain on the outside of the shoulder, and the most common cause is a;rotator cuff tear.
Rotator Cuff Problem
There are four;rotator cuff muscles;that move your shoulder, including your deltoid muscle.
There are three main types of rotator cuff problems
Rotator cuff problems cause pain, especially with activities like;reaching or throwing. The deep, aching shoulder pain tends to worsen or flare up at night, and it can wake you up from sleep or make it difficult to fall asleep.
Rotator cuff problems can be associated with a limited active range of motion. Since it’s hard to voluntarily move your injured or inflamed muscle, your shoulder may feel stiff. But if someone does the work for you by lifting your arm , your shoulder will likely move normally.
Also called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a common condition that leads to joint stiffness and pain, which can be constant. While many shoulder conditions, including rotator cuff tendinitis, can be associated with frozen shoulder, the cause is often unknown.
With a frozen shoulder, there is a decrease of both active and passive range of motion.
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.
Don’t Miss: Does Copper Fit Gloves Help Carpal Tunnel
Path To Improved Health
Your doctor can help you with a treatment plan to relieve the pain and help you restore your shoulder to normal function. Pain relief strategies include active rest. During active rest, you can and should move your shoulder. Avoid difficult activities like lifting heavy objects or repetitive overhead movements. You may also get relief by applying ice, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen , and, occasionally, an;injection;of anti-inflammatory steroids. Special exercises may also help.
The first step of;rehabilitation;therapy is simple range-of-motion exercises. By bending over and moving your shoulder in large circles, you will help to avoid the serious complication of rotator cuff injury, called a frozen shoulder. You should follow these range-of-motion exercises with resistance exercises using rubber tubing or light dumbbells. The final step is resistance training with weight machines or free weights.
Shoulder Pain Without Injury: 6 Common Causes
Joshua M. Zimmerman, M.D. contributes to topics such as Orthopedics.
Your shoulder is killing you, but you cant think of anything you did to make it hurt.
I didnt fall.
I didnt get into a fight.
I didnt go all out at the gym.
Well, there are several conditions that cause discomfort but arent caused by a traumatic activity. How can you identify whats wrong and how to make your shoulder feel better?
Joshua Zimmerman, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group, helps by sharing six of the most common causes of shoulder pain without injury that he sees in his patients regularly.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Neck Pain When Sleeping
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
Signs And Symptoms Of Shoulder Pain
There may be many causes of shoulder pain. They all have their own unique set of symptoms.;
People with shoulder pain can experience pain deep in the shoulder joint, in the back or the front of the shoulder and the upper part of the arm. Sometimes the pain in the shoulder can be described as a catching pain. The location and type of pain is likely to relate to the structure causing the pain.
In some conditions there may be reduced movement, and moving the shoulder may cause you to feel pain. A feeling of weakness of the shoulder/upper arm is also common.;
Depending on the condition, there may be a sensation of the joint slipping out and back in to the joint socket, or the shoulder can become completely dislodged . Some people may experience sensations of pins and needles and burning pain. This is more likely to be associated with nerves from the neck than the shoulder joint itself.
Lack of movement after a shoulder dislocation is usually due to pain. Complete rotator cuff tears and injury to the axillary nerve both cause weakness in moving the arm away from the body. These problems require close clinical examination.
Don’t Miss: Do You Need Surgery For A Broken Wrist
To Protect Your Knees:
- Use kneepads when gardening or kneeling on floors.
- Do daily thigh-strengthening exercises . Strong thigh muscles provide added support for your knees.
- Don’t sit for long periods of time; get up and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Do proper warm-up exercises before exercising or playing sports.
- Turn your entire body rather than simply twisting at the waist.
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.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Neck Pain Fast
What Causes Shoulder Pain
Several factors and conditions can contribute to shoulder pain. The most prevalent cause is rotator cuff tendinitis.
This is a condition characterized by swollen tendons. Another common cause of shoulder pain is impingement syndrome where the rotator cuff gets caught between the acromium and humeral head .
Sometimes shoulder pain is the result of injury to another location in your body, usually the neck or biceps. This is known as referred pain. Referred pain generally doesnt get worse when you move your shoulder.
Other causes of shoulder pain include:
Most Common Reasons You Cannot Lift Your Shoulder
Here are the most common reasons why you may not be able to move your arm.; While there can be neurological reasons, like Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, most of you cannot move the arm or shoulder because of pain.; The most common causes of shoulder pain and loss of motion are:;
- rotator cuff tendonitis
- calcific tendonitis
- adhesive capsulitis or a frozen shoulder
The cause of your shoulder pain and the reason why it hurts will vary by age. ;Some problems are more common in different age groups.; In younger athletes, tendonitis, or inflammation of the rotator cuff is more common.;
Lets run through each of these individually.;;
Don’t Miss: What Dr To See For Wrist Pain