Rotator Cuff Injuries And Irritations
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that help tether your shoulder into the socket and allow you to move it in a circular motion. Some two million people visit a doctor each year for rotator cuffrelated issues, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery . Most problems with the rotator cuff fall into two categories: tears or inflammation. Suspect a rotator cuff problem if you have pain or stiffness in your shoulder when you lift your arm above your head to brush your hair or when you reach behind your back. “You won’t be able to do a lot of things you want to do, such as put dishes in an upper cabinet, play tennis, or do garden pruning,” says Dr. Ramappa.
Rotator cuff impingement. A rotator cuff impingement happens when there is irritation, inflammation, or compression of the tendons or bursa in the shoulder. An impingement can be caused by an injury, but it can also just result from general wear and tear from daily life.
Rotator cuff tears. A tear in the rotator cuff will produce pain that is similar to an impingement but has one additional differentiating feature. “If the pain is associated with weakness, it is likely caused by a tear, and if you just have pain, it may only be a rotator cuff impingement,” says Dr. Ramappa.
Performing simple stretches two to three days a week can help keep your muscles flexible and reduce pain, provided your doctor approves.
What Are Possible Complications Of Shoulder Tendonitis
If treatment is not started when your pain and discomfort are fairly mild, problems may develop. These may include:
- Pain that interrupts your sleep.
- Loss of strength or motion in your affected arm.
- Trouble doing things that require moving your injured arm behind your back or overhead. This includes doing things such as fastening zippers or buttons. Or placing objects in high places.
Causes And Risk Factors
Most estimates state that less than 3 in 100,000 people get brachial neuritis, but others suggest the actual number may be much higher due to low awareness of the condition and underreporting.4,5 Brachial neuritis most commonly occurs in people ages 20 to 60, and it tends to affect more men than women.5,6 However, the condition is poorly understood and has no known cause.
Current medical literature suggests that brachial neuritis may be caused by some type of immune or autoimmune response. Various potential triggers have been reported by brachial neuritis patients in the literature, including recent infection, recent immunization, reaction to a surgical procedure, and many other types of stresses to the body. More research is needed before the medical community can state with certainty what causes brachial neuritis.
It should also be noted that there is an extremely rare genetic form of brachial neuritis, called hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy, which has a known cause and typically recurs on a regular basis.
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The Course Of Brachial Neuritis
The intense pain initially associated with brachial neuritis can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, or possibly longer in rare cases. A few days after brachial neuritis starts, symptoms of numbness and weakness commonly become noticeable in the arm as some muscles may look smaller due to atrophy. Strength and sensation tend to come back slowly over a period of anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the severity of the brachial neuritis.
The medical literature has traditionally reported that most people with brachial neuritis make a complete recovery if given enough time.1 However, more recent studies suggest that about half of people who develop brachial neuritis have some weakness and/or altered sensations that continue to affect daily life.2,3
Treatment for brachial neuritis typically involves pain management in the early stages when pain is most severe. After the pain starts to subside, physical therapy may be recommended to help rehabilitate the arms strength and range of motion.
Brachial neuritis typically only presents once, but the condition can recur.
Muscle And Tendon Problems
Muscle and tendon problems could result from either trauma or overuse. Overuse of upper arm muscles in certain strenuous physical activities like sports or weight training is one of the most common causes of upper arm pain. It is also one of the least worrisome, since it resolves upon resting. Muscle cramps are another reason for upper arm pain. These are intensely painful involuntary contractions of muscles, which usually follow intense activity and dehydration.
In comparison to the dull pain that follows muscle overuse, the pain caused by muscular cramps or spasms is very intense. In addition, physical trauma could lead to muscle and tendon injuries that are quite painful. Examples include muscle tears and tendon ruptures. Inflammation of tendons, referred to as tendonitis, also causes pain. In some cases, the pain may not arise due to problems with muscles and tendons in the upper arm, but can be caused by injuries to muscles and tendons in the shoulder region. For example, shoulder pain originating in the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder joint may also radiate down the upper arm.
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Key Points About Shoulder Tendonitis
- Shoulder tendonitis is an inflammation of your rotator cuff or biceps tendon. It often results from your tendon being pinched by nearby structures.
- You can get shoulder tendonitis from playing certain sports that require the arm to move over the head repeatedly.
- Symptoms can include not being able to hold your arm in certain positions, and pain or soreness in your shoulder.
- Diagnosis can be made from a health history, physical exam, and tests such as X-ray and MRI.
- Treatment may include rest, medicines, strengthening exercises, ultrasound therapy, and corticosteroid shots.
- Surgery is used for severe injuries or tears.
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.
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Pain Around The Upper Arm And Shoulder
This happens when the pain is localized predominantly in the area of your shoulder and upper part of your humerus. The conditions that cause this can include:
- Rotator cuff disease: Initially, pain is often felt at the front of the shoulder.
- Torn rotator cuff: Tears in the rotator cuff can include pain that begins near the shoulder.
- Dislocated shoulder: Pain from a shoulder dislocation is most acutely felt near the shoulder.
- Broken collarbone: The pain from a broken collarbone can be felt close to the shoulder, particularly when you try to move your arm.
- Frozen shoulder: This type of pain typically comes on gradually and feels dull and deep.
- Calcific tendinitis: Pain due to calcific tendinitis can be severe and can come on suddenly, often in the morning.
- Shoulder sprain: You can feel pain from a shoulder sprain not only in your shoulder, but also in the area of your upper arm and collarbone.
- The pain due to a separated shoulder is felt around the shoulder and upper arm.
- Shoulder osteoarthritis and RA: People with arthritis in their shoulder often feel a deep ache in their shoulder and upper arm.
- Brachial neuritis: Pain from brachial neuritis is typically severe and most often happens in the area of the shoulder and upper arm.
- Brachial plexus injury: Pain from a brachial plexus injury can happen around the shoulder and upper arm. It may be long lasting.
Four Causes Of Pain Between Your Elbow And Shoulder
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Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Shoulder
Repetitive strain injury of the shoulder is caused by consistent repetitive use.
Top Symptoms: shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder weakness, shoulder numbness
Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder : shoulder pain from overuse
Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder : severe shoulder pain, shoulder injury
Pain In Both Shoulders Symptom Checker
What Is The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is the neck region of your spinal column. Its 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.
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What Is Shoulder Tendonitis
Shoulder tendonitis is an inflammation of your rotator cuff or biceps tendon. Your rotator cuff consists of the muscles and tendons in your shoulder. They connect your upper arm bone to your shoulderblade.
Your injury may range from mild to severe inflammation of most of your rotator cuff. When your rotator cuff tendon gets inflamed and thickened, it is also called rotator cuff tendonitis. Your rotator cuff tendon may get trapped under the top bone of your shoulder . It is formed by a part of your shoulder blade .
How Is Arm Pain And Shoulder Pain Diagnosed
Analysis of the neck and shoulder posture is essential to detect the abnormal movements and posture of neck, shoulder blade, clavicle, shoulder and arm. If this is correct, then the causal pain sources in the neck can now be accurately defined through aware state surgical examination, where the surgeon seeks to replicate arm & shoulder pain by probing the structures on and around the discs. When this provokes a response, the patient, who is protected by circulating intravenous pain killers and sedation, offers feedback to the surgeon regarding the type and distribution of the pain produced. Sometimes, when the response is only partially akin to the presenting symptoms or when the response is at more than one spinal level, additional techniques are deployed to determine the relative importance of each site in the totality of the patients pain and condition.
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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.
Pain In Upper Right Arm Between Elbow And Shoulder
Shoulder pain is very common. Because theyre the most movable joints in your body, your shoulders are very prone to the effects of injuries and degenerative conditions.
Possibly, shoulder pain can radiate down into your arm. Conversely, a condition that may affect your upper arm also may be felt around your shoulder.
You must be wondering about the most common causes of right shoulder and arm pain.
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Pain Between The Shoulder And Elbow
In some cases, pain can be felt in both the area of the right shoulder and further down towards your right elbow. Some causes are:
- Rotator cuff disease: Pain can begin to radiate from your shoulder into the side of your upper arm.
- Torn rotator cuff: Shoulder pain may radiate down your arm to the area of the elbow.
- Dislocated shoulder: The pain from a dislocated shoulder can radiate down the upper arm.
- Upper arm fracture: A break in your upper arm can cause pain thats localized around the area of your shoulder and throughout your upper arm.
- Frozen shoulder: Pain from a frozen shoulder may also spread into your right bicep.
- Calcific tendinitis: Similarly to frozen shoulder, pain from calcific tendinitis can spread down into your bicep area.
Treatment Of Pain From Shoulder To Wrist On Left Arm
Treatments usually consist of splinting the wrist in a neutral position, anti-inflammatory medication, and most importantly, rehabilitation activities such as wearing gloves worn during cycling. The following a thorough evaluation, your doctor determines the anxiety is causing pain in your left arm, the recommended treatment will follow the treatment guidelines for other problems.
Although usually not a first-line treatment, surgery may be the best option if other treatments do not reduce the pain in your arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome can benefit from surgery that removes pressure on your average nerve by cutting the tendon that presses against it.
Tendinitis can benefit from surgical or surgical procedures, as well as minimal invasion designed to stimulate healing or removal of red tissue, as well as direct repair of the tendon wound.
2. Medication Options
Common over-the-counter medications to help relieve hand pain include acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Depending on the source of the pain in your arm, your doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce inflammation, such as injections of corticosteroids. Your doctor may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug that you apply to the skin area of your pain.
4. Physical Therapy
5. See a Doctor
- Pain that is excruciating and is relieved by relaxation
- Sudden injury
- Severe pain and swelling
- Difficulty moving or rotating your hand
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Inflammation Of The Shoulder Capsule
The synovial membrane of the shoulder may become inflamed this is called ‘synovitis’. Synovitis may occur as a result of another condition or it may happen as a result of an injury, or the cause may be unknown.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that occurs when the shoulder capsule thickens and becomes inflamed and tight. There may also be less synovial fluid to lubricate the joint. As a result, the shoulder becomes difficult to move.
Frozen shoulder may occur as a result of another condition if the shoulder has been immobilised . Sometimes the cause of shoulder pain may not be known.
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!
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Questions Your Doctor May Ask
While some questions may be unique to your health history and situation, in most cases be prepared to answer:
- Which shoulder blade is painful? Your right shoulder blade, your left shoulder blade, or both?
- How long have you been having the pain?
- Did the pain come on gradually or suddenly?
- Have you changed your exercise routine lately?
- Do you participate in activities that often cause pain in the shoulder or shoulder blade? For example, tennis, golf, swimming, basketball, badminton, racquetball?
- Is the pain on the same side of your body you sleep on?
- How would you describe your pain? For example, is it sharp or dull, superficial or deep, burning or achy, stabbing, or steady?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, do certain movements, a deep breath, or eating make the pain worse?
- What makes the pain better?
- What other symptoms have you been having? For example, shortness of breath, pain in other regions of your body, coughing, chest pain, hoarseness, unexplained weight loss, or abdominal pain.
- Do you, or have you ever smoked?