Shoulder Pain, Injuries, & Conditions
Shoulder pain is a common condition that various injuries and conditions can cause. The shoulder is a complex joint composed of several different bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all of which can be susceptible to injury or damage.
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Most Common Causes of Shoulder Pain, Injuries, & Conditions
- Rotator Cuff Injuries – A rotator cuff is a cluster of four muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing and moving the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injuries can occur from a traumatic event such as a fall or through overuse over time.
- Arthritis – Arthritis occurs when the cartilage, which cushions the ends of bones, becomes worn away, resulting in pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis are the two most prevalent types of arthritis that can affect the shoulder. They can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation as well.
- Sprains, strains, and fractures – Sprains and strains of the shoulder are usually caused by a sudden, forceful movement or overuse. Fractures of the shoulder are more severe and can be caused by a severe fall or direct blow to the shoulder.
- Bone Spurs – Bone spurs are bony growths that can form along the edges of bones, most commonly in the shoulder joint. They are caused by repetitive motion, wear and tear, or joint misalignment. Bone spurs can cause various symptoms, including pain, discomfort, and limited range of motion in the shoulder.
- Instability – Shoulder instability occurs when the shoulder joint is excessively mobile, and the shoulder structures cannot maintain the joint in its normal position. This often leads to the shoulder becoming painfully unstable, which can cause pain and discomfort.
- Tendonitis and Bursitis – Tendons are long, cord-like structures that attach muscles to bones. They can become inflamed and painful from overuse, a condition known as tendinitis. Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa, which is a small sac that provides cushioning between muscles, tendons, bones, or skin. These issues can be debilitating and make it difficult to move the affected arm.
- Frozen Shoulder – A frozen shoulder, sometimes referred to as adhesive capsulitis, is an inflammatory condition characterized by stiffness and reduced motion in the shoulder joint. This condition is common among people with diabetes and those who have kept their arm immobilized for extended periods of time.
- Nerve Injury – Nerve injury can occur due to an agonizing event such as an accident and may result from overuse or repetitive motions. Injury to the rotator cuff, the muscles, and tendons around the shoulder joint, can lead to compression of the nerves in the area, resulting in pain and numbness.
Available Treatments for Shoulder Pain, Injuries, & Conditions Include:
- Exercise and PT – Exercise and physical therapy (PT) are two of the most effective treatments for strengthening the shoulder muscles, reducing inflammation, and improving flexibility.
- Injections and Infusions – Injections involve injecting a solution directly into the affected area of the shoulder, while infusions involve providing medications intravenously. These medications can help reduce inflammation, improve joint function, and relieve pain.
- Tendon Repair or Transfer – This surgical procedure involves repairing or replacing a damaged tendon. Both tendon repair and transfer are essential procedures to restore normal function and movement of the shoulder.
- Subacromial Decompression – Subacromial decompression is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing the pressure in the subacromial space by removing some of the tissue and bone. Subacromial decompression aims to create more subacromial space, allowing for more movement and less pain.
- Tight Capsule Release – Tight capsule release is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the careful release of the tight capsule surrounding the shoulder joint, which can be caused by inflammation, overuse, and injury.
- Shoulder Replacement – Shoulder replacement is a surgical treatment involving replacing the shoulder’s damaged parts with artificial components. The surgery type will depend on the extent of damage to the shoulder and the surgeon’s preference.
- Medication (NSAIDs) – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are an ideal treatment for your shoulder pains that work by obstructing the production of certain chemicals that cause inflammation. As a result, they can reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in the shoulder.
Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?
Shoulder pain can affect many people throughout their lives. So why delay getting treatment? Reach out to the experts at Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers today. As one of New Orleans’ top-rated Pain Management Specialists, we utilize state-of-the-art therapies to diagnose and treat your shoulder pain at its source. You’ll work alongside a knowledgeable team of double board-certified doctors to create a custom treatment plan to help you alleviate your pain and get you back to the things you love.
Shoulder Pain, Injuries, & Conditions FAQ
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the best treatment for shoulder pain will vary based on the underlying cause of the pain. It’s aways best to consult with your doctor who will help determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Shoulder pain can resolve itself if the underlying cause is not serious. However, if the pain results from a more severe condition or injury, it is unlikely to go away without some form of treatment or intervention.
The intensity and duration of your shoulder pain can indicate its severity. If the pain is unbearable and has been present for more than a few days, it may be time to visit your doctor.
Signs that a person may have a rotator cuff tear include: pain that worsens at night or while raising the arm, weakness in the shoulder, and a popping or clicking sound and sensation when the shoulder or arm is moved.