What is shoulder pain?
Pain or discomfort that arises from the shoulder joint or from any surrounding ligaments, tendons, or muscles is called shoulder pain. Pain arises from another structure other than the shoulder is called referred pain. It becomes a persistent problem due to the natural wear and tear of the shoulder joint and rotator cuff tendon in older people. In most of the cases, shoulder pain can be treated at home. Physical therapy medications and surgery can be other necessary options to treat shoulder pain
What causes shoulder pain?
There are several factors and conditions that cause shoulder pain. Following are a few of the causes of shoulder pain:
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
- Torn cartilage
- Swollen tendons or bursa sacs
- Bone spurs
- Broken shoulder or arm
- Frozen shoulder
- Dislocated shoulder
- Shoulder injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Heart attack
What are the signs of shoulder pain?
Following are few of the signs of shoulder pain:
- Pain and stiffness around the shoulder
- Pain on the top of the shoulder
- Tingling sensation or numbness
- Unable to move the shoulder
- Worsening of pain while moving the arm
When should an individual seek medical help for shoulder pain?
If an individual is experiencing any of the following signs then he/she should consult the doctors.
- Deformed shoulder joint
- Severe pain in both shoulders
- Unable to move the joint or arm
- Heat or tenderness around the joint
- Pain in the thighs
If shoulder pain is not related to any injury then it may be a sign of heart attack. Other signs of heart attack associated with shoulder pain are:
- Chest tightness
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty in breathing
- Neck or jaw pain
How can the cause shoulder pain diagnose?
Following are a few tests to diagnose the cause of the shoulder pain. With the help of the imaging tests, detailed pictures are produced so that doctors can easily identify the cause of shoulder pain.
- Medical history and physical examination
- X rays
- Ct & MRI scan
- Nerve conduction studies
What is the treatment for shoulder pain?
There are many treatment options available based on the severity and cause of the condition. Some of the treatment options for shoulder pain are:
- Medications such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids
- Heat and cold packs
- Steroid injections
Surgery may be required in the following conditions:
- Frequent dislocations
- Subacromial decompression
- Acute or chronic tears in the rotator cuff
- Severe joint damage
- Release the tight capsule due to frozen shoulder
How does physiotherapy help to treat shoulder pain?
Most of the shoulder problems get treated through physiotherapy. Physiotherapists help to reduce shoulder pain and improve its function by various stretching and strengthening exercises, and other techniques. Some of the methods used in physiotherapy are:
- Exercises for strengthening weak muscles and improves the function
- Exercises to prevent stiffness
- Exercises to improve the range of shoulder joint movement
- Manual techniques like massage and manipulation to the soft tissues and joints
- Guidance to improve neck, spine, and shoulder posture
- Applying adhesive tape to the skin to decrease the strain on the tissues