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
A group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint are known as rotator cuff muscles. These muscles allow the tip of the upper arm to be fixated on the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries tend to occur if you perform repetitive movements overhead with professional such as carpenters, tennis players and painters are at the highest risk of this injury.
The muscles that constitute the rotator cuff are:
The primary function of the muscles mentioned above is to work together in stabilizing the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff injury leads to problems in these muscles and may lead to impaired functioning of the shoulder.
The symptoms of rotator cuff injury are:
Rotator cuff injury may result from the following causes
This condition is treated by using various methods, such as medications and physiotherapy. NSAIDs are prescribed to treat the pain along with various physiotherapeutic exercises to strengthen the joints. In severe cases, surgery may be required to fix the injury. It is recommended to balance the shoulder muscle strength by focusing on exercises that work the rotator cuff. Any external rotation movement helps in strengthening the rotator cuff.
Arthritis is a common ailment that affects a majority of adults across the globe. It can affect any joint in the body and cause inflammation, pain, and swelling. When arthritis affects the shoulders, it causes stiffness, pain, and lack of movement.
Signs and symptoms of arthritis of the shoulder:
The only symptom caused by shoulder arthritis is a pain, which, in turn, causes a limited range of motion. It is worth discussing these symptoms in detail:
But not all individuals affected by shoulder arthritis have pain and loss of range of motion. Some people having severe joint problems have very few symptoms.
Causes of Arthritis of the Shoulder!
Age is one of the most compelling causes of shoulder arthritis as it generally affects people aged over 50 years. However, it may also occur in younger individuals after experiencing a trauma or injury such as an accident or fracture or dislocation or severe infection. Arthritis of the A-C joints affects younger people while that of the G-H joint affects older people though there can be exceptions as well. Also, arthritis is genetic as well which means in a family affected with arthritis, every individual possesses a risk of being affected by it. Other causes of arthritis include:
Although there is no treatment that can absolutely cure arthritis of the shoulder, numerous pain management options are available. It is important to talk to an expert and decide which course of action can offer maximum relief.
You must have often heard about sports person, especially those associated with tennis or baseball (that involves continuous arm movement) suffer from rotator cuff injury. But what exactly is this injury? To understand the condition better, you need to know what is a rotator cuff. A rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that keep the shoulder joints stable enabling a person to rotate or lift their shoulders freely.
With time, certain activities may cause a wear and tear of the rotator cuff injuring them. The injury sustained can result from a partial or a complete tear.
A partial tear of the rotator cuff may damage the tendons, but it will remain attached to the bones. However, in the case of a complete tear, the injury is more severe that penetrates deep within detaching the tendons off the bone (humerus).
Who can suffer from a Rotator Cuff Injury?
While the condition can affect anyone, people under the following situations stand a greater chance of injuring their rotator cuff.
Symptoms associated with a Rotator Cuff Injury
People with a Rotator Cuff Injury may exhibit the following symptoms and associated discomfort.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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.