Shoulder pain is an increasingly prevalent ailment that affects all age groups. Its causes range from injuries and overuse to arthritis. Although shoulder pain can become chronic over time, there are ways you can quickly resolve it.
Importance of Shoulder Health
Shoulder health is important for various reasons. Our shoulders are one of the most mobile joints, enabling us to move them in all directions for everyday activities such as dressing, grooming, and eating. Without healthy shoulders, we would struggle with all aspects of daily living such as dressing up for events that involve movement.
In addition, the shoulder is responsible for lifting and carrying objects. Strong and healthy shoulders are vitally important when participating in various sporting and recreational activities.
When our shoulders are healthy, we can take our range of motion and strength for granted. However, when shoulder injuries or conditions occur, they can have a significant impact on our ability to perform everyday activities and enjoy our favorite activities.
Prevalence of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is a very common problem, affecting people of all ages. Studies have shown that the point prevalence of shoulder pain can range from 6.9% to 26%, depending on the population studied. This means that 6.9%-26% of individuals at any given time are experiencing shoulder pain.
Shoulder pain is more prevalent among women than men and increases with age; prevalence reaches its highest point among people over 55.
Many factors contribute to shoulder pain including:
Rotator cuff tear
Shoulder pain can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.
Understanding Shoulder Pain
There are a number of different types of shoulder pain, each with its own set of symptoms and causes. Some of the most common types of shoulder pain. Let’s understand each of them:
Rotator cuff tear: The rotator cuff consists of four muscles and tendons that help stabilize the shoulder joint, and its tear may result in pain, weakness, or stiffness to your shoulder joint.
Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, which is a small fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between bones and tendons. Bursitis can affect any location on either shoulder.
Tendinitis: Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon, which is a tough cord that attaches muscle to bone. Tendinitis can occur in any of the tendons in the shoulder, and it can cause pain and inflammation.
Frozen shoulder: Frozen shoulder is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder. It is not fully understood what causes a frozen shoulder, but it is thought to be related to inflammation of the shoulder capsule.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of the pain and get the best shoulder pain treatment. Early treatment can help to relieve pain and improve function.
Diagnosing Shoulder Pain
To diagnose shoulder pain, your doctor will start by asking you a series of questions about your medical history and symptoms. They will also perform a physical examination of your shoulder.
During the physical examination, your doctor will check for:
Range of motion
Your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound, to get a better look at the inside of your shoulder joint.
In some cases, your doctor may also order blood tests to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing your shoulder pain.
Once your doctor has gathered all of the necessary information, they will be able to make a diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Once your shoulder pain has been diagnosed by your physician, they may suggest both surgical and nonsurgical treatments depending on its cause and severity. Your best treatment option depends upon both of these factors.
Common non-surgical treatment options for shoulder pain are:
Applying ice for 20 minutes at a time multiple times daily to your shoulder joint can help alleviate inflammation and pain
Resting the shoulder can also provide significant relief from both inflammation and pain.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help to reduce inflammation and pain
If other treatments are not effective, your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder and improve your range of motion. This can help to reduce pain and prevent future injuries.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in relieving shoulder pain.
Sometimes surgery is also recommended if non-surgical treatments have not been effective or if the shoulder pain is severe and caused by a specific injury or condition. Common surgical treatments for shoulder pain are:
Rotator cuff repair: This surgery is performed to repair a torn rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that help to stabilize the shoulder joint.
Labrum repair: This surgery is performed to repair a torn labrum. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that helps to deepen the shoulder socket and keep the humerus (upper arm bone) in place.
Acromioclavicular (AC) joint repair: This surgery is performed to repair a damaged AC joint. The AC joint is the joint that connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade.
Shoulder replacement surgery: This surgery is performed to replace the damaged shoulder joint with an artificial joint.
If you are considering surgery for shoulder pain, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with your doctor.
Shoulder pain is a common problem that can affect people of all ages. There are various surgical and non-surgical treatment options available for shoulder pain. The best treatment for you will depend on the cause of your pain, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of the pain and get the appropriate shoulder muscle pain treatment. Early treatment can help to relieve pain, improve function, and prevent further injury and complications.