Using your shoulders for repetitive motions (such as performing manual work or playing sports) puts you at risk for injury. Your shoulders are made up of a number of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, all of which can suffer damage. Discover a few common shoulder injuries and their characteristics below.
- Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy
One common issue is shoulder impingement, also known as rotator cuff injury. The condition tends to occur when you repeatedly lift your arms overhead. You’ll feel a tenderness at the front of your shoulder or even halfway down your arm. It may also be painful to lift your arms, and you could also have trouble sleeping. The tendinitis phase of inflammation is very short, lasting anywhere from a few days to about a week. Partial healing may occur, but after that, abnormal tissue (i.e. scar tissue) replaces the small micro tears in the tendons.
As the symptoms are minor at first, patients often neglect to seek early treatment. Yet, this can exacerbate the problem, leading to pain that starts at the shoulder and runs down the entire side of the arm. You may also experience a sharp pain when you use your shoulder or even mild discomfort all the time.
- Torn Rotator Cuff
Another way you can injure your rotator cuff is through tears. You’ll feel a dull aching sensation in the muscles and tendons that are deep within your shoulder. You may also find it more difficult to move your arm, particularly to reach behind you or overhead. The pain is often worse when lowering the arm.
- Dislocated Shoulder
Shoulder instability can lead to dislocation. This happens when the upper arm bone shifts and pops out of its socket. Pain can be severe, causing muscle spasms, and it may even be clear just from looking that your shoulder is dislocated. Shoulder dislocation can also lead to conditions like labral tears.
- Frozen Shoulder
The technical name for frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis. The injury progresses over a year or more, starting with stiffness, inflammation, and discomfort in the joint and leading to a limited range of motion and increased pain.
To recover from your injury, you’ll need targeted shoulder pain treatment. At Global Physiotherapy, we will help you eliminate your pain through a combination of an exercise plan and advanced manual therapy. Healing options for the injured tissue of the rotator cuff tendons include laser, regenerative photonic therapy and radial shockwave therapy. If you’re experiencing persistent shoulder pain, visit us for an assessment to find out the source of the problem and prevent re-injuries.