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Shoulder Pain


Common causes for shoulder pain

Adhesive capsulitis - Frozen shoulder is the common term for adhesive capsulitis, an inflammatory condition that restricts motion in the shoulder

Bursitis  involves the inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between tendon and skin and/or between tendon and bone.

Bicipital Tendonitis   is an inflammatory process of the long head tendon and is a common cause of shoulder pain due to its position and function. The tendon is exposed on the anterior shoulder as it passes through the humeral bicipital groove and inserts on the superior aspect of the labrum of the glenohumeral joint. Disorders can result from impingement or as an isolated inflammatory injury. Other causes are secondary to compensation to rotator cuff disorders, labral tears, and intra-articular pathology.

Rotator cuff tendonitis   is an inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the tendons of the shoulder.

Shoulder Arthritis   can cause shoulder pain when it effects one or both of the shoulder joints. There are many types of arthritis that can effect the shoulder.

Shoulder Impingement syndrome is the most comon cause of shoulder pain.Impingement refers to mechanical compression and/or wear of the rotator cuff tendons. The rotator cuff is actually a series of four muscles connecting the scapula (shoulder blade) to the humeral head (upper part of the shoulder joint.) The rotator cuff is important in maintaining the humeral head within the glenoid (socket) during normal shoulder function and also contributes to shoulder strength during activity. Normally, the rotator cuff glides smoothly between the undersurface of the acromion and the humeral head

Treatment of shoulder pain

Treatment generally involves altering activities, rest and physical therapy to help you improve shoulder strength and flexibility. Medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and reduce pain. If medication is prescribed to relieve pain, it should be taken only as directed. Injections of drugs may also be used to treat pain.

Surgery may be required to resolve shoulder problems; however, 90 percent of patients with shoulder pain will respond to simple treatment methods such as altering activities, rest, exercise and medication. Certain types of shoulder problems, such as recurring dislocation and some rotator cuff tears may require surgery.

Common sense solutions such as avoiding overexertion or overdoing activities in which you normally don't participate can help to prevent shoulder pain.

When should you seek medical care?

Many patients ignore temporary minimal shoulder symptoms with few bad effects. In the case of an acute injury, if the pain is intense, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. If the pain is less severe, it may be safe to wait a few days to see if time will alleviate the problem. If symptoms persist, an orthopaedist may provide timely diagnosis and treatment. Orthopaedists are specifically trained in the workings of the musculoskeletal system, including the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of problems involving muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons.


This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.


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