Shoulder pain is usually characterized by a persistent dull and nagging painful sensation that may arise from the shoulder joint itself or from other muscles, ligaments and/or tendon that surrounds the shoulder area. Shoulder pain arising from the shoulder joint itself generally worsens with the movement of the shoulder or upper arm of the person having this symptom.
There are various causes for shoulder pain and the reason may vary from person to person depending upon the physical activities that he/she is involved in. The causes of shoulder pain may be direct as well as indirect. Various diseases and other conditions such as heart problems or gallbladder diseases may indirectly lead to shoulder pain and such a condition is known as “Referred Pain”. Referred shoulder pain generally does not cause much problem during the movement of patient’s shoulder. On the other hand, direct causes of shoulder pain may be due to one or more major or minor injuries in the shoulder area. Moreover, due to aging, various degenerative changes in different parts of the shoulder can result in shoulder pain.
Some of the major causes that can result in shoulder pain are impingement, bursitis, dislocated shoulder, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, septic arthritis, rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder, sprains and strains, multiple sclerosis, dislocated shoulder, avascular necrosis, ankylosing spondylitis and others. The first step towards the treatment of shoulder pain involves thorough analysis of the patient’s medical history followed by a number of clinical diagnoses which involves imaging study by X-ray imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging and/or diagnostic arthroscopy.
Once the cause leading to shoulder pain is appropriately diagnosed; the necessary treatment is initiated under the guidance of an experienced doctor. The treatment involves medication along with physiotherapy. The doctor may also recommend a few exercises for such patients in order to improve the flexibility and/or mobility of their shoulder joint. In a few cases, surgical treatment may be recommended if it is found to be necessary.
Once the cause of shoulder pain is found out by various clinical diagnoses, the treatment for this condition is initiated under the guidance of an experienced doctor. The treatment for shoulder pain involves various pain relief medications and physiotherapy. Medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be prescribed for controlling the pain. The doctor might recommend taking rest and avoiding any strenuous physical activity that involves movement of shoulder in order to prevent any further injury. In addition to this, a few exercises may help the patients by improving their shoulder flexibility and mobility. Injecting cortisone into the affected area can help to reduce the inflammation. Applying hot and cold packs on the affected area gives temporary relief from pain. In some cases the doctor may advice for surgical treatment if the medical treatment for this condition is found to fail.
It must be kept in mind that the treatment for shoulder pain varies from person to person depending on the degree of injury or the cause of the pain. Surgical treatment for this condition is not the first option, and hence this treatment is used only if all other medical treatments for this condition fail.
In case of patients, suffering from shoulder pain due to arthritis or osteoarthritis, the treatment is slightly different. For such patients, the shoulder pain arises due to damaged shoulder joint. Surgical methods of treatment such as realignment bone surgery and joint replacement surgery are the two best methods that have been proved beneficial for treating such patients. After surgery, the patients are recommended to have rest until the condition heals.
There is no age restriction as far as the treatment for shoulder pain is concerned. Patients of any age who are having a persistent dull and nagging painful sensation in their shoulder area are eligible for this treatment. It is always recommendable for such patients to go for home remedies initially. If such home remedial methods fail to give fruitful results, then the patients can seek medical help from an experienced doctor.
There is no eligibility criteria as such for patients to seek treatment for shoulder pain. Anybody who does not have shoulder pain is not eligible for the treatment of shoulder pain. It should be remembered that shoulder pain may arise both due to injury in the shoulder area as well as a few indirect causes and such a condition is known as “Referred pain”. Hence, a proper diagnosis is necessary for an appropriate treatment to begin. Patients having referred pain should be given treatment for the underlying cause that has led to shoulder pain. Such patients of referred shoulder pain are not eligible for treatment of shoulder pain but instead they need to be treated for the underlying cause of the pain.
The treatment for shoulder pain is more or less safe. However, the anti-inflammatory pain killers prescribed during this treatment may bear some side effects. The common side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, bleeding in stomach (ulcers), headache and indigestion. The side effect of stomach upset can be reduced by taking the medicines after meal.
On the other hand, cortisone pills used to treat problems of shoulder pain, have side effects such as weight gain, elevated blood sugar levels, osteoporosis, elevated blood pressure, thinning of skin, cataracts and decreased resistance against infections. It is important to consult a doctor if any of these side effects become serious enough.
It should be remembered that shoulder pain may be due to both direct and indirect causes (also known as referred pain). In case of referred pain, the underlying cause needs to be treated. The post treatment guidelines for shoulder pain include giving rest to the affected shoulder, applying hot and cold packs to the affected area for temporary relief, avoiding strenuous activities that may cause further injury, taking the prescribed medicines regularly on time, physiotherapy, practising exercises that helps in improving shoulder mobility and flexibility and using braces, slings and supports that helps in keeping the shoulder in position and facilitates faster recovery.
The time taken for a patient of shoulder pain to recover depends upon the degree of injury received. For minor injuries like strain or sprain it takes about a week’s time for the pain to recover. Shoulder pain resulting from serious issues such as fractures, rotator cuff tear, dislocation and others may require surgical treatment and may take a few months to recover. It is important to consult a doctor if the pain persists or increases even after the treatment.
The price of treatment for shoulder pain varies in different parts of India. The average cost of consulting a doctor regarding such issue may range from Rs. 400 to Rs. 700 (per consultation). The costs of medical as well as surgical treatments are additional. In general, the average cost of full treatment for shoulder pain may range from Rs. 4,400 to Rs. 6,500 in India. This treatment is available in almost all cities and towns of India.
Before the treatment for shoulder pain is initiated, it is important that the cause of the pain is properly diagnosed. For some issues of shoulder pain, they can be treated by mere home remedies and rest. However, for others if such home treatments fail to give effective results then the doctor switches to medical and/or surgical treatments if necessary. Surgical treatment is considered as the ultimate and best treatment for problems of shoulder pain. The permanence of the treatment of shoulder pain depends upon the degree of injury encountered by the patient. If in case no improvements are seen from home remedies or medical treatment, only then the doctor recommends for surgical treatment.
For issues of shoulder pain, surgical treatment is considered as the best treatment. However, there are a number of alternative treatments as well. The alternative treatments for issues of shoulder pain involve applying hot and cold packs, physical therapy, rest, ultrasound/heat treatment, consumption of anti-inflammatory food items, stretching and mild exercises to improve shoulder flexibility and mobility, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and/or acupuncture therapy. These are mere primary treatments for issues of shoulder pain and if the conditions are not seen to improve, then the patient must consult a doctor for further medical or surgical treatments.
Rs. 4,400 – Rs. 6,500
The human body is a great marvel. You can’t imagine how each part works and the shoulder is one of the most vital parts of the body. You need your shoulders to move your arms, to write, raise hands, pick things up, do workouts, eat, wash, play golf and cricket, and what not, the list is exhausting. Such a joint overworks tirelessly and is prone to injuries and pain. Just move it consciously in different directions to check its range of motion. If it pains or the movement is restricted, you should get it checked by an experienced orthopedic.
What does your shoulder comprise of?
The shoulder is made up of a group of three bones, the clavicle, scapula, and humerus. These components are popularly known as the collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone, respectively. Four different muscles form a group and various tendons and ligaments in conjunction with the rotator cuff make room for a ball in the socket. The free movement of the ball is necessary to move the shoulder without any pain or discomfort.
When does shoulder pain appear?
When the muscles around the rotator cuff are weak, shoulder pain may occur. This is, in fact, one of the most common causes of shoulder pain and discomfort. You will feel pain or pinching sensation whenever you move your shoulders. It can be heightened at night and when you are sleeping on the affected shoulder, the pain can be even worse. This weakening of the muscles is called impingement. Over a period of time, this restricts the movement of the shoulder muscles and the shoulder ball. This is not a condition that develops overnight. It is because that you are overworking your shoulder. Aging is another factor that causes this condition. It can also result because of specific occupations, especially the ones that demand to lift heavy weights often.
How to relieve shoulder pain?
Treating shoulder pain at home is possible. But the pain that arises from playing certain sports such as tennis and specific activities such as cleaning the entire house in a day. When you know that you have stressed your shoulder, using ice and heat packs alternatively is a time-tested remedy to alleviate pain. Even rest can ease this sort of pain. You should also never raise the arm over the head when the shoulder is in pain. Bring down inflammation with ice. Never immobilize the arm with a sling. However, if the shoulder pain because of a suspected injury or unknown reasons, it is better to visit a doctor.
Is medication required?
You should rush to the doctor if you feel that the shoulder pain is slowly increasing and is persistent. Whenever you feel pain when raising your hand over the head, you need to be aware that this condition is called frozen shoulder and needs the intervention of a doctor. You cannot find solace with ice in this case.
To find out whether your posture is the cause of pain, analyze your habits at work and home. Do not jump to get things from a height. Specific actions such as carrying heavy weights and bowling can also cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder. Review all such activities and find the right way to tackle this. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A person’s shoulder is the most mobile joint in his body as it is a ball-and-socket joint. This ball-and-socket joint make for most of the movements of all other types of joints in our bodies but one has to pay a price for this mobility. Problems might arise through impingement of the soft tissue or areas having bones in one’s shoulder, leading to pain. Impingement happens when top of the shoulder blade puts pressure on the soft tissues underneath, as and when the arm gets lifted from the body.
Symptoms of shoulder pain
Before the shoulder pain actually kicks in, the body starts giving signals through certain symptoms. The symptoms include:
Neck Pain: Generally the pain starts to develop from the neck, where an individual might go through a period of intense pain and gradually come down to the shoulder causing discomfort.
Muscle Cramps: People might feel that their muscles are getting cramped, hence restricting their free movements. These cramps tend to have adverse effects on a person’s shoulder, resulting in tremendous pain.
There are a number of factors and certain conditions that can contribute to shoulder pain. The most common among these is rotator cuff tendinitis. Some of the other causes are described below:
How are the causes of pain diagnosed?
Generally when a person goes to show a doctor because of shoulder pain, the doctor would want to find out the exact reason behind the problem and then go ahead with the treatment. He would physically feel for tenderness and swelling, assess the amount of movement which a person is able to do and then determine how stable is the joint. After the physical examination, the doctor would go for tests such as X-ray or MRI in order to get the detailed pictures of the shoulder.
According to the cause and severity of the pain, a doctor would treat a patient by giving him nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, a sling or shoulder immobilizer or ask him to go for surgery. Minor pain in the shoulder can be treated at home by applying ice on the area for 15 minutes three to four times a day for some days, to get relief from pain. Application of ice should be through an ice bag or by wrapping ice in a towel as direct application might cause frostbite.
Most professions require you to work with computers these days, and thus people tend to sit at the workplace for long hours that often leads to posture related muscle tensions and nerve issues. By following a few easy ergonomic principles at your workplace, you can keep such sufferings at bay though.
The workplace is where you spend the majority of your time in day. So it is crucial that you focus on your posture while sitting when you are working. Maintaining your posture will not only help you feel more comfortable working in front of a computer, but will also prevent back pain, muscle stiffness, and other muscle related problems.
If you are wondering what these workplace ergonomics are, take a closer look at them here.
Muscle tension and pain due to poor workplace posture is a common phenomenon today, and focus on improving your daily posture as well as improving the workplace ergonomics are sure to prevent muscle and nerve related problems. In case you're already suffering from muscle issues due to poor posture, opt for a consultation with a neurosurgeon right away to prevent the muscle condition from deteriorating further.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Subacromial impingement is a very common problem relating to the shoulder area, accounting for almost 50% of the shoulder pain complaints. It is a very small space covered by bones on all spaces, and in fact, only when there is inflammation in this area does the space become evident on radiographs. There are various tendons and muscles, which work together to allow for shoulder movement upwards and downwards and front and the back. With repeated movements, these tendons get impinged or pinched and so cause limited motion, pain, swelling, instability, etc.
This injury is very common in people who use the shoulder repeatedly and in similar movements, especially with sportspersons like basketball, swimmers, etc. Non-sportspeople like painters and construction workers can also sustain this injury, given the repetitive motion of the shoulder joint.
What causes subacromial impingement?
If a person has subacromial impingement, the symptoms will include:
As the condition progresses, the symptoms worsen and gradually can lead to calcifications in the tendon space and loss of shoulder strength. The impingement can go through 3 stages, with both age and symptoms increasing with each stage.
Diagnosis: A combination of history, clinical presentation, x-ray, and MRI are used in diagnosis. Specific tests like empty can are also useful in arriving at a diagnosis.
Management: Conservative measures like resting, ice and heat therapy, medications, and exercise are the first line of therapy. When the condition persists even after 3 to 4 months, then surgical intervention is required.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The hand movement is to a large extent controlled by the shoulder. It is a ball and socket setup where the shoulder bone has a socket, into which the upper arm bone fits in like a ball. Due to excessive movement or repetitive strain, the shoulder can be subjected to a lot of strain and stress. Shoulder pain is one of the most common symptoms, especially in sportspersons who use the hands repeatedly, like swimmers, basketball players, volleyball players, etc.
The pain in the shoulder could be due to various conditions, such as:
Depending on the cause, the shoulder pain intensity can vary, the duration can vary, it can be at night or day, can be intermittent or constant. In addition to pain, there could also be:
Shoulder pain can be very limiting and needs to be managed. From minimally invasive to surgical options, the following are some options.