Sunday, January 16, 2022

What Causes Shoulder Joint Pain

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Causes Of Frozen Shoulder

What is Shoulder Joint Pain? Causes and Treatment | Dr. Monu Singh

This condition generally affects adults ages 40 to 60 and can be caused by diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinsons, or cardiac disease. It can also result from immobilizing the shoulder too long after an injury, which is why a vital part of any recovery is physical therapy.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Frozen Shoulder

You become aware of a frozen shoulder when it begins to hurt. The pain then causes you to limit your movement. Moving the shoulder less and less increases its stiffness. Before long, you find that you cant move your shoulder as you once did. Reaching for an item on a high shelf becomes difficult, if not impossible. When its severe, you might not be able to do everyday tasks that involve shoulder movement such as dressing.

Corticosteroids And Pain Medications

If at-home treatments arent effective, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medications. However, these wont heal the underlying causes of bursitis.

Another option is corticosteroid injections around the bursa. However, you can only have a limited number of these injections because they increase the likelihood that you could rupture your tendon.

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Shoulder Impingement Or Painful Arc Syndrome

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that keep the upper arm bone held in the shoulder blade socket.

Pain from a problem with the rotator cuff is often called shoulder impingement. The condition causes swelling, pain or damage to the tendons of the rotator cuff. This can make it painful and difficult to move your arm properly.

You may find it painful and difficult to lift your arm away from your body, particularly if youre trying to lift your arm above your head. Your arm may feel weak or you may have a dull lingering pain in your upper arm.

Really, its nothing to do with your tendons being trapped by bones, as was previously thought. Instead, its caused by overuse or age-related problems with the tendons themselves but the name is still used. This condition can also be called painful arc syndrome.

Rest and physiotherapy are the main courses of treatment for a shoulder impingement. Your doctor may recommend an injection of steroids and a local anaesthetic, to help with the pain.

If the pain doesnt settle, or comes back within a few months of treatment, you may need keyhole surgery.

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    How Can I Prevent Shoulder Pain

    OrthoInfo: âShoulder Pain and Common Shoulder Problems,â âRotator Cuff and Shoulder Conditioning Program.â

    Cleveland Clinic: âRotator Cuff Tendonitis,â âBone Spurs,â âShoulder Tendinitis.â

    American Society for Surgery of the Hand: âShoulder Pain.â

    American Academy of Family Physicians: âShoulder Pain.â

    Mayo Clinic: âShoulder Pain,â âRotator Cuff Injury,â âArthroscopy.â

    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: âShoulder Problems.â

    Arthritis Foundation: âShoulder Injuries,â âArthritis and Diseases That Affect the Shoulders.â

    American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: âCommon Shoulder Injuries,â âDislocated Shoulder,â âClavicle Fracture,â âShoulder Joint Tear,â âRotator Cuff Tears,â âShoulder Impingement/Rotator Cuff Tendinitis.â

    Stanford Medicine: âApproach To The Exam of The Shoulder.â

    Johns Hopkins Medicine: âElectromyography .â

    Texas Department of Insurance: âShoulder Injury Prevention Fact Sheet.â

    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: âShoulder Injury Prevention.â

    Merck Manual Home Edition.

    American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

    Show Sources

    Painful Symptoms Of A Shoulder Joint Separation

    In a shoulder separation, the ligaments that connect the upper section of the scapula and the collarbone are injured. This shoulder injury is often caused by a fall, sharp twist of the arm, or a forceful impact.

    Symptoms of shoulder separation include:

    • Swelling

    • Deformity

    • Pain

    A shoulder separation can easily be confused with a shoulder dislocation, which is when the humerus pops loose from the shoulder socket. However, a separation is damage to the ligament while a dislocation is damage to the bone.

    Low-grade shoulder separations can be treated nonsurgically. Conservative treatment methods include:

    • Rest

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    What Are Shoulder Pain Treatments And Home Remedies

    For dislocations, separations, and fractures, you need a doctorâs help to get your shoulder back in the right position and then a sling to hold it in place while it heals.

    For many other issues, your doctor may suggest rest, heat or ice, and a medicine like aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the pain and swelling.

    If your shoulder doesnât improve after these first steps, your doctor may try injecting a corticosteroid straight into the joint to relieve swelling and pain.

    Sometimes cartilage tears, rotator cuff tears, and frozen shoulder donât improve with rest and medicine. Your doctor may recommend surgery.

    With any problem in your shoulder, your treatment plan will probably include exercises to help you stretch and strengthen the joint, and to improve your range of motion.

    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.

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    Shoulder Pain In The Morning Only

    Morning is a time when you should be feeling at your body best, not budgeting extra time to pull your shirt on or wash your hair because your stiff, sore shoulders havent warmed up yet.

    When you wake up with shoulder pain that gradually dissipates throughout the day, only to flare up again next morning, you may need to look no further than your bed for the reason and the solution.

    Start with simple changes and monitor shoulder pain each morning as you work your way through this list of shoulder pain relief techniques.

  • Switch your sleep position. Try sleeping on your back or on the other side not your stomach.
  • Remove some pillows. We often sleep propped up to improve breathing and digestion, but having too many pillows can lead to over-pronation of the head, which stretches the muscles and ligaments in the neck and can cause morning shoulder pain.
  • Add some pillows. If you arent using one at all, or just a single flat pillow, try sleeping elevated to take some pressure off your shoulders.
  • Dont sleep with your arm under the pillow or your elbow over your head this squeezes the tendons and can lead to weakness in the arm.
  • Switch to a cervical support pillow or tear drop shaped specially designed to support the neck during side-sleeping.
  • Buy a new mattress if you have had yours for many years. Mattresses tend to sag in the middle over time, which puts undue pressure on all the muscles.
  • Types Of Shoulder Pain

    Waking up with severe shoulder pain is no fun at all the good news for many is that it may subside during waking hours, giving you some breathing room to treat the underlying problem.

    Its helpful to first identify the different types of shoulder pain so you can see which most closely resembles what you may be experiencing upon awakening.

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis This is perhaps the most common type of shoulder pain that causes severe shoulder pain after waking up. Rotator cuff tendinitis or tendinosis occurs when the rotator cuff tendons break down over time.
  • Frozen Shoulder Unfortunately, before the freezing comes the pain sometimes excruciating pain.
  • Spinal Stiffness The thoracic spine was meant to be held erect, not to bend in fixed position as we constantly hunch forward over our phones and computers. All the poor posture causes a lack of mobility in our spine and rib cage, making us more prone to shoulder injuries that act up in the morning.
  • Altered mechanics. Conditions like scapular dyskinesis and old sprains or soft tissue injuries can cause overuse and stretching pain from muscles that were never meant to do this much heavy lifting.
  • Radiating pain. Sometimes, neck and back pain can radiate to the shoulder, leading patients to believe they have a shoulder problem when they really dont.
  • How can you know what type of shoulder pain you are dealing with?

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    Physical Activity To Strengthen Back Muscles

    Weak shoulder blade muscles can induce pain. Therefore, you need to include physical activity that can strengthen the different areas in your back. You can perform pull-ups, pushups, and sit-ups to strengthen the weak muscles in the abdomen and back region. So, try to include the exercise in your daily routine to get relief from the pain.

    When To Seek Medical Attention

    Liver Disease And Right Shoulder Pain

    If your shoulder has dislocated from the joint, its important that you see your doctor right away to prevent further pain and injury.

    As you wait to see your doctor, dont move your shoulder or try to push it back into place. If you try to push the shoulder back into the joint on your own, you risk damaging your shoulder and joint, as well as the nerves, ligaments, blood vessels, and muscles in that area.

    Instead, try to splint or sling your shoulder in place to keep it from moving until you can see a doctor. Icing the area can help reduce pain and swelling. Ice may also help control any internal bleeding or buildup of fluids around the joint.

    At your appointment, your doctor will ask about:

    • how you injured your shoulder
    • how long your shoulder has been hurting
    • what other symptoms youve experienced
    • if this ever happened before

    Knowing exactly how you dislocated your shoulder whether it was from a fall, sport injury, or some other type of accident can help your doctor better assess your injury and treat your symptoms.

    Your doctor will also observe how well you can move your shoulder and check to see if you feel any difference in pain or numbness as you move it. He will check your pulse to make certain there is no associated injury to an artery. Your doctor will also assess for any nerve injury.

    After your doctor has a clear understanding of your injury, your treatment will begin. To start, your doctor will try a closed reduction on your shoulder.

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    Risk Factors Of Shoulder Joint Pain

    Shoulder joint pain is influenced by following risk factors.

    • Smoking
  • b. Fracture of Shoulder Joint

    Injuries Caused By Direct Impact or Accelerated Forces Often Results In Shoulder Joint Fracture.

    Shoulder Joint Fracture May Include-

  • Fracture of Humerus- Upper Arm.
  • Fracture of Glenoid socket- Scapula.
  • Fracture of Scapula- Shoulder Blade.
  • Fracture of Clavicle- Collarbone.
  • Acromion Process- Section of Scapula.

    c. Dislocation of Shoulder Joint-

    Dislocation of Shoulder Joint Results in Breaking the Link of the Joint between Following Bones-

  • Glenohumeral Joint- Separation of link between humerus and glenoid socket of scapula.
  • Acromio-Clavicular Joint- Separation of acromion process and clavicle.
  • Coraco-Acromial Joint- Dislocation results in separation of coracoid process and acromion bone.

    d. Rotator Cuff Tear-

    Rotator cuff tear is extremely painful condition with partial or full thickness tear.

  • Full Thickness Tear
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Associated With Tendon Or Ligament Tear.

    e. Labral Tears

  • Tear Of Rim Of The Capsule
  • Tear Of Cartilage Cuff Of Glenohumeral Joint
  • Results in Severe Pain And Joint Instability
  • Known as Bankarts Tear.
  • Labral Tear When Associated With Biceps Tendon Injury Is Known As SLAP Tear.

    f. SLAP Tear

  • Injury Rarely Responds To Conservative Treatment
  • Surgical Treatment Is Quite Often Preferred.3

    SLAP Injuries Are Classified As Follows-

  • Shoulder Joint Pain When Lifting Arm Symptoms

    Normal swelling and pain in the front part of the shoulder are often caused by the pain from the rotator cuff pain. A person may suffer from soreness and difficulties while lifting the arm. Pain may also be experienced when a person lowers the arm from a raised position.At the start of the condition the symptoms may not be so serious but mild, this may not prompt a person experiencing the mild symptoms to seek treatment. The mild symptoms that may manifest themselves from this condition may include

    • Having a tiny pain that is felt while resting or when engaging in activities that require the use of the arms.
    • Soreness emanating from the front part of the shoulder up to the side of the arm being used.
    • Having abrupt pain in the shoulder joints when lifting and doing reaching for things movements.
    • For athletes who use their arms in sports that requires passing over the heads may suffer from the pain while throwing or serving the balls such as tennis ball while playing tennis.

    As the condition accelerates, the symptoms become more severe too. A person may experience symptoms such as

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    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 >

    Shoulder Arthritis Due To Avascular Necrosis

    Shoulder Pain Causes and How To Fix Them | Joint Centration Alignment

    Avascular necrosis refers to the disrupted blood supply to an area of the body, which results in that area dying . In the shoulder, the humeral head may lose blood supply due to disease, traumatic injuries, and other causes. Without a blood supply, the bone will slowly collapse, becoming uneven and causing arthritis.

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    When To See A Doctor

    Unless youve had a serious injury or get a sudden, continuous pain, you can usually treat your shoulder pain without having to see your doctor.

    If, after two weeks of treating yourself, you feel the pain isnt any better you should see your doctor or a physiotherapist.

    You should also see your doctor as soon as possible if you:

    • develop severe pain in both shoulders
    • also have pain in your thighs
    • feel feverish or unwell.

    These can be signs of the condition called polymyalgia rheumatica, which needs prompt treatment.

    There are several ways you can help your shoulder pain:

    • Painkillers
    • Complementary treatments

    What Are The Causes Of Shoulder Pain

    The causes of shoulder pain can vary. The pain can be acute or chronic .

    Acute shoulder pain

    Acute shoulder pain can be caused by a fall or accident that may have resulted in the upper arm bone breaking . The consequences can be sharp pain, limited mobility up to complete immobility, swelling and bruising . People with osteoporosis also frequently have fractured bones.

    A separated shoulder is also caused by trauma. As with a fracture, a separated shoulder also causes sharp pain, but it is rather more localized on top of the shoulder. You can often see the formation of a step on the side of the shoulder, between the humerus and the collarbone, with the naked eye. The acromioclavicular joint is also very sensitive to pressure.

    A fall or accident can also lead to dislocation of the shoulder joint . A dislocated shoulder is the most common of all joint injuries. Signs: severe pain and limited mobility. Sometimes, there is also an injury to the joint lip and the joint capsule of the shoulder as well as sensory disturbances due to impaired nerves. A labral lesion often manifests itself through sharp pain, a cracking or snapping sound when moving the shoulder and a feeling of instability.

    Chronic shoulder pain

    • Impingement syndrome
    • Shoulder osteoarthritis
    • Frozen Shoulder

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    Other Causes For Back Shoulder Pain

    You can experience other issues that result in shoulder blade pain. The following problems can result in the pain in the shoulder blades:

    Spine Problems

    Several problems affecting your spinal cord can result in the back shoulder pain. Therefore, the issues include:

    • Herniated/bulging disc in your spine
    • Narrowing of the spinal cord
    • Osteoarthritis

    Acid Reflux

    The problem known commonly as heartburn occurs when the acid content in your stomach goes back to your esophagus. It can cause pain in different areas of the body including shoulder pain.


    It is a long-term condition triggering pain in several parts of your body. You can also experience extreme sensitivity to pain and fatigue due to the condition.


    The viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus can result in a painful rash on your body. It can result in nerve pain. So, you can suffer from back shoulder pain due to the issue.


    Certain types of cancer in your body can result in the shoulder blade pain. It can occur when you have the following types of cancers:

    • Cancers that can affect your bones

    Nerve Compression

    Also known as compression neuropathy, the problem can directly put pressure on your nerve and cause pain. The pressure or inflammation on the nerve root that exits your spine can trigger upper and lower back pain.

    Myofascial Pain Syndrome


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