The shoulder is an amazing joint with a wide and versatile range of movement. However, because it has so many parts and moves in so many different ways, it can also be a source of instability and even injury in many people. Pain is commonplace, particularly as a result of overuse or a specific injury. Pain may start suddenly or increase gradually over time, depending on its cause. Treatment options for shoulder pain range from very conservative methods such as rest or physical therapy all the way up to surgical procedures. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, you can schedule an appointment with Redefine Healthcare to determine the cause of the pain and the best treatment plan for your specific injury. Here are three of the most common causes of this type of pain.
1. Biceps tendinitis
Biceps tendinitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the upper bicep tendon, a strong, fibrous tissue that attaches muscle to bone. This tendon helps the elbow bend, the forearm turn, and the arm raise overhead. It often becomes irritated with repetitive lifting or routine overhead activities; this irritation may cause shoulder pain, weakness, and other symptoms. If you have biceps tendinitis, you may experience:
– Pain that may feel dull or sharp when moving; pain may continue even when the movement stops
– Pain or burning that may radiate to the upper arm
– Tenderness to the touch
– Trouble sleeping on the affected side
– Difficulty performing daily activities such as getting dressed
Most cases of biceps tendonitis can heal entirely with early detection and treatment. Some patients will respond very well to physical therapy and other conservative treatments; others will require surgery for complete healing.
2. Shoulder bursitis
Shoulder bursitis involves the inflammation of the bursa in the shoulder. This condition is most common in patients 40 – 60 years of age but may also occur in younger people who engage in sports or other repetitive activities. Specific symptoms that may point to shoulder bursitis include:
– Pain in the upper front part of the shoulder
– Pain when lifting the arm overhead or sleeping on the affected side
– A feeling of tightness
– Swelling and/or redness
– Limited shoulder mobility
Ice, over-the-counter pain medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy are some of the conservative treatments that often resolve shoulder bursitis, although the condition may recur if the repetitive movement that caused it in the first place is continued. In some instances, surgery may be required.
3. Shoulder tendinitis
Like biceps tendinitis, this type of tendinitis involves inflammation of a tendon but, in this case, it usually occurs in the subacromial space, located on the top of the shoulder. This condition is commonly caused by overuse and repetitive motions, although individuals who experience shoulder tendinitis are typically genetically predisposed. Other things that may increase a person’s risk include participation in sports such as swimming and tennis, falling onto the shoulder, poor posture, heavy lifting, and advancing age. Symptoms that may indicate shoulder tendonitis include:
– Pain when moving
– A feeling of tightness or tenderness in the affected area
– Pain that worsens overnight
– Increasing swelling and weakness as inflammation escalates
If diagnosed and treated early, many patients recover fully and regain normal function. However, severe cases and certain complications can necessitate surgical decompression.
If you are experiencing pain or other troublesome symptoms, contact us for a consultation. We can diagnose the issue and recommend an effective treatment plan to get you back to your regular routine as soon as possible.