When you injure your shoulder, however slightly, you realize how much you rely on the joint to do everyday tasks. And since the shoulder joint is the loosest in the body, you can injure it in many different ways. If you’re experiencing the pain and stiffness in your shoulder from an injury, get medical help and guidance from the sports injury doctor in NJ, leading pain management specialists at Redefine Healthcare in northern New Jersey.
A shoulder injury usually shows up as swelling in your shoulder joint, along with pain when you move your arms or shoulders. You feel a general stiffness in the vicinity of your shoulder, which makes simple acts painful. Getting a box of cereal from the top shelf in your kitchen cabinet suddenly becomes impossible. The likelihood of you losing the strength in the shoulder and arms is also high.
With shoulder injuries, you sometimes feel a grinding sensation as you move your shoulders.
Because there are so many moving parts in your shoulder joint, you need to be examined by a pain management specialist at Redefine Healthcare pain clinic in northern New Jersey. You may have torn tendons, popped your shoulder or fractured or broken a bone.
What Leads to a Shoulder Injury
Shoulder injuries are predominant in young adults who play sports. When you swim or play tennis, for example, you use the same muscles repeatedly. That can lead to overuse problems and injuries in your shoulders. If you work at a desk during the week and then participate in a competitive sport on the weekend, you can injure your shoulder due to a lack of preparation.
Your risk of a shoulder injury increases as you reach middle age because your muscles aren’t as supple as they were when you were younger.
Another common cause comes from doing a lot of manual work. Construction workers, gardeners, window cleaners and painters complain of shoulder injuries. Constantly reaching overhead or moving your arms the same way repeatedly causes stiffness, limiting your shoulders’ range of motion.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
When your shoulder starts hurting, certain conditions may make you vulnerable to injury. You may be suffering from glenohumeral arthritis, which damages the cartilage in the joint, or from osteoporosis, which weakens the bones in the joint. Alternatively, you may have a pinched nerve in your neck or upper back pain.
Common shoulder injuries happen to anyone, young or old. Most often, you succumb to conditions or trauma, such as:
- Shoulder instability. When your shoulder joint pops or slides out from the shoulder socket, you may have a partial injury or a complete dislocation.
Impingement syndrome. This involves the rotator cuff tendon or bursa that becomes inflamed. When you move your shoulders, the swollen tendon rubs against the shoulder joint, causing pain.
- Frozen shoulder. This condition comes in three stages. It starts with immense pain, after which your shoulder becomes stuck, losing any range of motion. It’s a treatable, but disconcerting medical condition.
- Shoulder bursitis. When the fluid-filled bursa of your shoulder become inflamed, your joint loses the ability to minimize friction between the tendons and bones.
- Shoulder tendinitis. This develops when your rotator cuff tendons or bicep tendon is inflamed and irritated.
- Shoulder separation. This shoulder injury occurs when your collar bone and shoulder blade are completely or partially separated.
- Shoulder joint tear. This condition represents a tear in the tissue that surrounds the shoulder socket.
- Fractures. You can sustain hairline fractures or complete breaks. A fall, direct impact or a car accident are the usual causes.
- Shoulder sprains or strains. When you tear or stretch a shoulder ligament, it’s a sprain. With a stretched or torn muscle, it’s a strain.
Treatment for Shoulder Injures
As there are many ways you can injure your shoulder, your shoulder specialist needs to examine you to make a diagnosis. You may undergo physical tests to determine your mobility. If your shoulder injury is a fracture or a dislocation, your doctor may provide a sling to help you keep the joint immobile while it heals.
Your New Jersey doctor may recommend other shoulder injury treatments for you, depending on your case. Contact the best NJ pain doctor specialist Dr. Freeman of Redefine Healthcare or visit one of their four locations to get treatment that may include:
- Resting your shoulders by avoiding all those activities that aggravate your injury
- Using an ice pack to ease your pain and reduce the inflammation
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen for pain relief. Your doctor may write a prescription for stronger medications if necessary.
- Choosing steroid injections for faster pain relief. While this treatment may only last for several months, it gives you time to participate in rehabilitation free of pain.
- Starting physical therapy once your pain has subsided. The exercises and stretches help you regain flexibility and strength in your shoulders.
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