The shoulder is a complex area of the body. It is made up of several bones that are all held in place by a series of muscles, tendons and ligaments. While the muscles provide strength and the ability to move the shoulder, it is the tendons that work as assistants to help move the shoulder. The tendons act as tough tissue cords that keep the shoulder muscles adhered to the bone.
The ligaments in the shoulder hold the bones to each other and keep the shoulder joint stable. The shoulder joint is the most movable joint in the body, but is also the most intolerable to injury and one of the most potentially unstable.
As a result of the high rate of instability, the shoulder area may experience a wide range of shoulder issues. Below are the most common problems that occur in the shoulder and result in painful symptoms that require treatment by a trained orthopedic surgeon or pain management doctor.
· Frozen shoulder
· Muscle separation
· Torn rotator cuff
· Sprains and strains
One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is due to a sprain or strain of the shoulder. This involves teasing or stretching the ligaments that are designed for supporting the shoulder. Typical signs of shoulder strain or sprain include pain, swelling around the shoulder joint, and tenderness. Severe sprains may also result in redness, bruising and a warm sensation around the injured part of the body.
Dislocation is another common cause of shoulder pain and can result from sudden trauma to the shoulder, as in the form of a motor vehicle accident or fall; or through chronic overuse of the shoulder. Wear and tear over time may cause the muscles and ligaments to separate from the bone, causing significant weakness in the shoulder and sensation of catching or locking. This chronic overuse is typical in athletes who throw a ball overhead or swing a bat or tennis racket repeatedly for hours everyday.
Another cause of shoulder pain is due to the rotator cuff. Whether there is a tear, tendinitis or the development of bursitis, all can cause shoulder pain. Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon that may result from injury or overuse. Tendinitis exhibits symptoms of tenderness, soreness and even swelling across the region of the shoulder.
A torn rotator cuff may result from a sports injury, overuse or a fall with an outstretched hand. Repetitive overhead motions may result in wear and tear on the rotator cuff, resulting in a tear. Pain can be severe; a skilled doctor or surgeon should conduct treatment.