Shoulder Pain

Malaysia Well Known Physiotherapy

What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is any pain that occurs in and around the shoulder, be it from the joint itself or from the surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons. The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body and it gets its range of motion from the rotator cuff. Hence, any damage or swelling of the tendons, ligaments or bones around the rotator cuff may cause an individual to feel pain when lifting his or her arm over the head or even moving his or her arm back and forth.

What causes shoulder pain?

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
    where the rotator cuff tendons become trapped under the bony area in the shoulder which will cause the tendons to become inflamed or damaged
  • Rotator cuff tear
    where the rotator cuff tendon is torn as a result of age factor of wear and tear
  • Rotator cuff impingement
    where the tendons’ of the rotator cuff are pinched in between two bones of the shoulder
  • Muscle strains
    where the shoulder muscles have overexerted or a sudden stretched greater than its limits
  • Shoulder joint instability
    where the ligaments from the shoulder becomes over-stretched or torn leading to episodes of dislocation
  • Dislocated shoulder
    where the head of the upper arm is out from its socket
  • Frozen shoulders
    where the muscles, tendons and ligaments inside the shoulders become stiff, restricting movement and causing any movement to be painful
  • Torn shoulder cartilage (glenoid labrum tear)
    where the shoulder cartilage is worn out as a result of different kinds of damages or recurring strain onto it

Simple self-treatment to ease the pain

  • R.I.C.E Protocol
  • Rest and avoid using the injured shoulder
  • Ice in reference of providing cold treatment onto the painful shoulder to reduce pain and swelling
  • Compress injured arm with a compression wrap to apply external force to the injured issue. Its purpose is to decrease swelling and give mild support
  • Elevate the injured arm on pillows, placing it above your heart as it helps the swelling to go down
  • Gently massage or rub the area
    to encourage blood flow but NOT if it causes the injured area pain
  • Try simple exercises
    to stretch and strengthen the structure that support the shoulders
  • Practice good posture
  • Taking painkillers
    such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but advisable with consultation from doctor or pharmacist

When to seek medical help?

  • Shoulder pain with a sense of tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing; an indication of heart attack
  • Deformed joint; an indication of dislocated shoulder
  • Inability to move the injured arm at all
  • Sudden swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth around the joint