Leading Causes of Shoulder Pain

Leading Causes of Shoulder Pain

You may not pay close attention to your shoulders, but when one is in pain, you realize just how critical these joints are in your day-to-day life. Here, we review the leading causes of shoulder pain and how we can bring you relief.

If you windmill your arms around for just a moment, you begin to appreciate the incredibly wide range of motion that your shoulders provide. This amazing flexibility, unfortunately, can come at a cost as shoulder joints are inherently unstable and prone to problems that can lead to shoulder pain.

At Spine & Orthopedic Center, Dr. Rajiv Sood specializes in shoulder problems with the goal of restoring pain-free movement in these important joints.

To give you an idea of the many problems that can crop up in your shoulders, we outline a few of the more common here. More importantly, we outline how we can relieve the pain, which will allow you to function normally again.

Anatomy of your shoulder

To better understand some of the shoulder problems we outline below, it’s helpful to first review the anatomy of your shoulder. At its core, your shoulder is a shallow ball-and-socket joint where your upper arm bone (humerus) meets your shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle).

The socket is located in your shoulder blade and your humerus is held in the socket by soft tissues called your rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons. To provide cushioning within your shoulder joint, there are small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae.

Common shoulder issues

Now that we have a better idea of the anatomy of your shoulder, let’s take a look at some of the more common problems, including these five:

1. Rotator cuff issues

If you incur a partial or complete tear in your rotator cuff, it can lead to pain and instability in your shoulder. Most rotator cuff tears occur because of overuse, but these tissues can also tear as a result of an acute trauma. Rotator cuff tears are quite common in the United States — about two million people seek medical help each year for these types of tears.

While tears can certainly lead to pain, so, too, can inflammation in the tendons in your rotator cuff. This inflammation is called tendinitis and typically occurs because of overusing the connective tissues. Please note that tendinitis can weaken your rotator cuff and set you up for a tear, so early intervention with us here is a good idea.

2. Bursitis

If the bursa sacs within your shoulder joint become inflamed and irritated, it can lead to a good deal of shoulder pain, especially with certain movements.

3. Shoulder impingement

If you lift your arm and encounter pain, it might be shoulder impingement. With this condition, the top of your shoulder blade is rubbing painfully against rotator cuff tendons and bursa sacs inside the joint.

4. Arthritis

Like the other joints in your body, your shoulders can develop osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative condition in which the protective cartilage inside the joint breaks down.

5. Fracture

Your shoulder brings together three bones and if you incur a fracture in any of these bones, it can lead to considerable shoulder pain. In most cases, the fracture occurs in the shoulder blade or collarbone and is usually the result of a fall.

Reliving your shoulder pain

Given the wide range of problems that can lead to shoulder pain, it would be difficult to state what your particular treatment plan might be. Rest assured, we have a wide range of effective options, including:

Our goal is to treat your shoulder pain without resorting to surgery, which will only add to your discomfort, at least in the short term.

If you’re struggling with shoulder pain, please contact our office Jonesboro, Georgia, to get on the road to relief.