Shoulder Pain and Problems

Different Types of Shoulder Problems

  1. Dislocation-The shoulder joint is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the body often caused by a significant force that separates the ball away from the joint’s socket (glenoid)
  2. Bursitis. Bursitis often occurs when tendinitis and impingement syndrome cause inflammation of the bursa sacs that protect the shoulder.
  3. Impingement syndrome- Impingement syndrome is caused by the excessive squeezing or rubbing of the rotator cuff and shoulder blade. The pain associated with the syndrome is a result of an inflamed bursa over the rotator cuff,and /or inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons,and/or calcium deposits in tendons due to wear and tear. Shoulder impingement syndrome can lead to a torn rotator cuff.
  4. Tendinosis- Tendinosis of the shoulder is caused when the rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon become worn out and occasionally inflamed.,usually as a result of being pinched of most of the rotator cuff. When the rotator cuff tendon becomes inflamed and thickened,it may become trapped under the acromion.
  5. Rotator cuff tear- A rotator cuff tear involves one or more rotator cuff Tendons becoming inflamed from over use,aging,a fall on an outstretched hand,or a collision.
  6. Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Frozen shoulder is a severely restrictive condition frequently caused by the injury that, in turn,leads to lack of use due to pain. Intermittent periods of use may cause inflammation and adhesions to grow between the joint surfaces. Thus restricting the motion. There is also a lack of synovial fluid to lubricate the gap between the arm bone and socket that normally helpshe shoulder joint to move. This restricted space between the capsule and ball of the humerus distinguishes adhesive capsulitis from the less complicated condition known as stiff shoulder.
  7. Fracture. A fracture is a partial or total crack or break through a bone that Usually occurs due to a impact injury.

Causes of Shoulder Problems

Although the shoulder is the most movable joint in the body it is also an unstable joint because of its range of motion. Because the ball of the upper arm Is larger than the socket of the shoulder,it is suscepitible to injury. The shoulder joint is also supported by soft tisuues, muscles,tendons,and ligaments which are also subject to injury,overuse,and under use.

Degenerative conditions and other diseases in the body may also contribute To the shoulder problems,or generate pain that travels along nerves to the shoulder.


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination (to determine range-of-motion,location of pain,and level of joint instability),diagnostics procedures for shoulder problems may include the following:

a) X – ray

b) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

c) Computed tomography scan (also called a CT OR CAT scan)

d) Electromyogram (EMG). A test to evaluate nerve and muscle function.

e) Ultrasound. A diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.

f) Laboratory tests( to determine if other problems may be the cause)

g) Arthroscopy. A minimally – invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedures uses a small,lighted, arthroscope which is inserted in to the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected on to a screen; used to evaluate any degenerative and /or arthritic change in the joint;to detect bone diseases and tumors;to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.

Treatment of Shoulder Problems

Treatment may include

  1. Activity modification
  2. Rest.
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Medications
  5. Surgery.

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