The shoulder is the most movable or mobile joint in the body and also one of the most potentially unstable joints. When something goes wrong with it, it may impede movement and can cause pain and discomfort.
There are three main bones in the shoulder, the humerus (long arm bone), clavicle (collarbone) and the scapula (or shoulder blade). The shoulder joint allows forward and backward movement, circular motion, up and away from the body.
Rotator cuff makes the shoulder move and is made up of four tendons and these tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bone. When the rotator cuff is swollen or damaged, it can be painful to move the arms and shoulder.
Symptoms of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain itself is the symptom.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
There are numerous causes that can contribute to shoulder pain:
- The most common one is rotator cuff tendinitis a condition characterized by inflamed tendons.
- Impingement syndrome
- Referred pain – the result of injury to another location in the body, usually from the neck or bicep.
- Arthritis can also cause shoulder pain.
Treatment for Shoulder Pain
When to see a physio:
After three days of conservative treatment; RICE (if an acute injury) or heat (if a chronic problem) contact the physio to be assessed. Following a physiotherapy assessment, the physio will identify and treat the problem. More importantly, the physiotherapist will tailor an exercise program to rehabilitate, and manage your particular problem. This will help you regain optimal return of normal function
Shoulder pain relief will depend on the cause and severity of the shoulder pain. Doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids. Other treatment option for neck and shoulder pain may include physical therapy, shoulder immobiliser and surgery.