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
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
where the head of the upper arm is out from its socket
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
- 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
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