Pain in the shoulder may suggest an injury, which is more common in athletes participating in sports such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. The injuries are caused due to the over usage or repetitive motion of the arms. In addition to pain, shoulder injuries also cause stiffness, restricted movements, difficulty in performing routine activities and popping sensation.
Shoulder impingement is the inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder joint. It is one of the most common causes of pain in the shoulder. Shoulder impingement is also called swimmer’s shoulder, tennis shoulder or rotator cuff tendinitis.
Rotator Cuff Tear
A rotator cuff is a group of tendons in the shoulder joint that provides support and enables a wide range of motion. A major injury to these tendons may result in rotator cuff tears. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in middle-aged and older individuals.
Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most often in older people. AC joint osteoarthritis affects the tissue covering the ends of bones (cartilage) in the AC joint of the shoulder. The cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the AC joint.
Proximal Biceps Tendinitis
Proximal biceps tendinitis is the irritation and inflammation of the biceps tendon at the shoulder joint. The biceps muscle is the muscle of the upper arm which is necessary for the movement of the shoulder and elbow. It is made of a ‘short head’ and a ‘long head’ which function together. The long head of the biceps tendon is attached at the top of the shoulder joint. The short head is attached to your shoulder blade.
Bicep Tendon Rupture
The biceps muscle is located in the front side of your upper arm and functions to help you bend and rotate your arm. The biceps tendon is a tough band of connective fibrous tissue that attaches your biceps muscle to the bones in your shoulder on one side and the elbow on the other side.
Calcification tendinitis is a problem with the shoulder’s tendons and muscles. This condition occurs due to the formation of calcium deposits in the tendons (tissue which attaches muscle to bone) of the rotator cuff (a group of muscles and tendons stabilizing the shoulder). This calcium build-up causes inflammation of the tissues surrounding it, and intense shoulder pain. The space between the rotator cuff and the acromion (outer bony end of the shoulder blade) is also reduced due to the calcium deposits, affecting the normal functioning of the rotator cuff. The deposits often occur in people above 30-40 years old and are more common in diabetic patients.
Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which you experience pain and stiffness in your shoulder. The symptoms appear slowly, worsen gradually and usually take one to three years to resolve on their own.
Post-traumatic Stiffness of the Shoulder
Post-traumatic stiffness of the shoulder is the inability of the shoulder joint to move freely due to the damage sustained to the normal gliding surfaces of the shoulder as a result of trauma (injury) or surgery. The trauma affects the muscles and capsule surrounding the shoulder joint resulting in reduced or loss of motion and functional impairment. Post-traumatic stiffness is a disabling complication that affects your ability to perform normal day-to-day activities.
Shoulder Dislocation & Instability
Sports that involve overhead movements and repeated use of the shoulder at your workplace may lead to sliding of the upper arm bone from the glenoid. The dislocation might be a partial dislocation (subluxation) or a complete dislocation causing pain and shoulder joint instability. The shoulder joint often dislocates in the forward direction (anterior instability), and sometimes in the backward or downward direction.
The labrum is soft tissue that rims the bony floor of the shoulder socket. SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior. This refers to the labrum in the upper (superior) region of the shoulder socket. It includes the labrum in the front (anterior) and the back (posterior) of the region. Hence, the acronym for the region:Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior.
Overhead Athlete's Shoulder
An overhead athlete is at increased risk of injury due to the mechanism associated with rapid shoulder elevation, external rotation, and abduction. An overhead throwing motion is an intricate and skillful movement that presents a special challenge of needing the glenohumeral joint to surpass its physiologic limits during overhead sports activities.
Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Injuries
The acromioclavicular (AC) joint in the shoulder is very important for shoulder strength, motion, and maintaining shoulder position. The joint is stabilized by various ligaments and a capsule, which can cause pain and affect normal joint function if damaged.
Arthritis of the Shoulder
The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Damage of the cartilage in the shoulder joint causes shoulder arthritis. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat, and pain.
Proximal Humerus Fracture
In general, if the fracture has not displaced from its normal position or is minimally displaced, the fracture can be treated in a sling, and it will heal on its own.
The one exception to this is for elderly patients, who have fractured a hip or leg and the shoulder. In this case, surgery for the shoulder fracture may be needed to help them get out of bed and use a walker or crutch. When surgery is needed, what will be done? Three types of fractures in the shoulder usually need surgery.
The clavicle is the only bone connecting the shoulder blade and the arm to the central skeleton. In essence, the clavicle is like a suspension bridge between the spine’s central skeleton and the shoulder blade (scapula) and arm.
Neck and Nerve Issues
The supporting muscles of the shoulder blade can be affected by a shoulder injury. These muscles can be stretched or overworked to compensate for the injury. The muscles that attach the shoulder blade to the neck are the most commonly affected. Patients will often have neck pain or spasms in those muscles. Medication, ice, and/or heat can help in the short run. The long-term solution is to heal the shoulder injury.