Shoulder injuries are a widespread problem, particularly in athletes that participate in contact sports or those with physically demanding jobs. Fortunately, there is a number of treatments available to address the injury and the associated symptoms in your shoulder. Your injuries may get worse and even become chronic if you choose to self-medicate or ignore them.
Here are the five most common shoulder injuries that could be the root cause of your chronic pain.
1. Rotator cuff tears
Shoulder rotator cuff tears can be brought on by either accidents or degenerative conditions like arthritis. For instance, you may end up with a sore shoulder after falling on an extended arm.
Signs and symptoms include restricted movement and flexibility, discomfort that stops you from applying pressure to the damaged shoulder, and pain that recurs during specific movements. Based on how severe your injury is, your doctor can advise painkillers, rest, or surgical intervention.
2. Shoulder tendinitis
Repetitive stress or direct blows to the shoulder can result in shoulder tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons inside your shoulder. Rest, cold therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication are frequently used as treatments.
The inflammation will eventually subside. It can, however, weaken your tendons and increase the risk of rupture if left unaddressed.
3. Acromioclavicular joint separation
An AC separation is characterized by an injury that involves the separation of the clavicle from the scapula due to direct impact or injury to the point of your shoulder. You could notice a lump above the affected joint, based on how severe the separation was. If the sense of stability in your shoulder following an AC separation has decreased, it may continue to hurt and be uncomfortable over time. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and arm slings are the most common treatment option for AC separation.
4. Shoulder dislocation
Since the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint inside your body, dislocations can be a common problem. If you fall onto your arm or engage in contact sports, you might end up with a dislocated shoulder. Your risk of shoulder dislocations may also increase if your joints are hyper-flexible.
Since shoulder dislocations tend to recur, they can result in persistent discomfort. Neighboring tissues, including muscles and nerves, are frequently also impacted by this type of injury.
The treatment involves putting the dislocated shoulder back in its proper position and then stabilizing the joint for a couple of weeks with a sling.
5. Frozen shoulder
Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is characterized by the shoulder’s capsule, or tissue around the joint, swelling and getting inflamed. The resulting soreness and mild stiffness gradually worsen. Ultimately, your shoulder may get stuck in one position, making it difficult for you to move. This can last for about 1 to 2 years. Fortunately, you can eventually regain the mobility in your shoulder joint throughout the healing process.
The bottom line
Keep pain from becoming a constant part of your life. With the use of imaging methods, experienced pain management specialists can examine your bones, muscles, and tendons in detail and design a treatment plan that will improve your symptoms and quality of life in no time.
Injections of corticosteroids or the newest regenerative medicine techniques, such as injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), may be part of your treatment. In PRP, a small sample of your own blood is taken, processed to separate the potent growth factors, and then reinjected into the affected joint to relieve pain, halt swelling, and hasten recovery.