The shoulder comprises several bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Any disruption to one or many of the parts of the shoulder could cause serious discomfort, and in some cases, severe pain.
Don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place. Shoulder pain is a common injury and is often a result of trauma or overuse –– but you don’t want to wait to get help. Below we’ve detailed several potential causes of shoulder pain and if it could be related to an injury to the rotator cuff.
COMMON INJURIES THAT CAUSE SHOULDER PAIN
Any number of factors could cause shoulder pain. The shoulder is a body region that requires great stability to operate correctly. If something goes wrong, it can throw the shoulder out of balance, and if continued to use, increases the risk of further injury.
Some common injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Dislocations and separations
- Labral Tear
- Torn rotator cuffs
- Frozen shoulder
- Fractures (broken bones)
WHAT IS THE ROTATOR CUFF?
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder.
An injury to the rotator cuff can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, with increasing pain the longer it goes without treatment.
CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND RISK FACTORS OF ROTATOR CUFF INJURIES
Rotator cuff injuries are relatively common and are typically the result of overuse and/or repeated overhead motions. However, in more severe cases, a tear can result from a traumatic event (i.e. a fall), and the role of surgical treatment should be discussed with your specialist.
Rotator cuff disease is often the result of progressive degeneration after a severe injury or simple wear and tear of the tendon tissue.
Common risk factors include:
- Age: Rotator cuff tears are most common in people older than 50.
- Work: Construction occupations or other labor intensive jobs that require repetitive arm motions can damage the rotator cuff over time.
- Sports (especially overhead activities).
There are several symptoms to be aware of when experiencing shoulder pain, mainly related to the rotator cuff. Here are a few:
- Dull ache in the shoulder
- Disturbed sleep
- Difficulty raising the affected overhead or reaching it behind your back
- Accompanied by arm weakness
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A SPECIALIST FOR SHOULDER PAIN?
If you have a joint that appears deformed, are experiencing an inability to use the joint, have intense pain, or have sudden swelling, you should call 911 or visit the emergency room.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, any shoulder pain accompanied by difficulty breathing or a sense of tightness in the chest may be a symptom of a heart attack and requires immediate medical attention.
An injury or persistent pain can be serious without necessitating immediate care. Symptoms under this heading would include swelling, redness, or tenderness around the joint. In this case, you should schedule an appointment with your orthopedic specialist.
A patient may take pain relievers, get plenty of rest, and ice the affected area to relieve a minor injury. If there is no improvement in one or two weeks, you should call to schedule an appointment with your orthopedic specialist.
A patient who has suffered shoulder pain in the past presents a greater risk for future rotator cuff injuries. To help prevent this, talk to your specialist about an at-home workout routine that would be suitable for strengthening the muscles that surround your shoulder.
HAVE SHOULDER PAIN? MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT MOUNTAINSTATE ORTHOPEDIC ASSOCIATES WITH OUR SHOULDER SPECIALIST, DR. CHAD MICUCCI
Don’t wait to see a doctor for your shoulder pain. Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates, Inc. (MOA) is a leading orthopedic practice in the region. Our staff is proud of our doctors’ education and experience for each patient.
Dr. Micucci is a Shoulder Specialist at Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates, with expertise in Arthosocopy, including Rotator Cuff Repair and Shoulder Instability. If you are suffering from a shoulder injury, Dr. Miccucci can develop a treatment plan to help relieve your shoulder pain.
You don’t have to live with shoulder pain. Schedule an appointment today, and let us help you get back to normal.