FAQ’s on Shoulder Pain

What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is a frequently occurring condition of pain in the shoulder joint that can be caused by many different factors. This pain is ongoing but worsens when the shoulder is used. The pain can radiate from the shoulder joint throughout the entire neck and upper arm regions.

Who is affected by shoulder pain?

Shoulder Pain JacksonvilleAnyone can suffer from shoulder joint pain but it most commonly occurs from sports related injuries and from repetitive use in the workplace. Persons suffering shoulder pain from work related injuries would be carpenters, dry wall workers, roofers, or any other work where repetitive use of the arm and pivoting of the shoulder occurs.

Athletes such as baseball pitchers, quarterbacks, basketball players, tennis players, bowlers, shot putters, weightlifters, rowers, fishermen (or any other sport or activity that requires repetitive use of the arm and shoulder joint or that puts heavy strain and stresses on the shoulder joint) can suffer from shoulder pain.

Something as seemingly simple as household chores can cause shoulder pain. Repetitive use of the shoulder joint performing tasks like pushing and pulling a vacuum cleaner or outside chores like raking leaves can trigger an injury that can result in severe shoulder pain.

What conditions may cause shoulder pain?

  • Adhesive capsuliitis, also called frozen shoulder, is a painful condition of stiffness of the shoulder joint.
  • Proximal biceps tendon rupture, an injury where a tendon of the biceps muscle ruptures near the shoulder joint.
  • Osteoarthritis, also referred to as degenerative joint disease, is a condition caused by the wearing away of the cartilage in the joint.
  • SLAP lesion, a condition that commonly occurs from a fall where the person lands on their hand.
  • AC separation, a condition of separation of the acromioclavicular joint in the shoulder.
  • Dislocation of the shoulder joint, this occurs when the upper arm bone (humorous) becomes disconnected from the shoulder blade (scapula).
  • Calcium deposits within a tendon, a condition called calcific tendonitis; this occurs most often in the rotator cuff tendons.
  • Instability of the shoulder joint caused by an injury such as a dislocation caused by a fall.

What are the symptoms of shoulder pain?

Pain and decreased mobility of the arm and shoulder joint are the most commonly occurring symptoms of shoulder pain. Other symptoms are an inability to carry objects or to use the affected arm normally. Shoulder pain can affect sleep patterns, lying on the shoulder or extending the arm overhead while trying to sleep can increase felt pain levels and so make sleeping difficult.

An inability to raise the arm on the affected side, swelling, persistent pain in the upper arm, neck, and shoulder, and weakness in the arm of the affected shoulder are all symptoms of shoulder pain or of an underlying cause of the pain.

How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

Your physician can perform tests and examinations including strength tests, x-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging; this allows the physician to see a detailed image of the bone, muscles, ligaments, and tendons). An injury such as a fall or auto accident, or a job that requires repetitive use of the shoulder joint, may be indicative of a shoulder injury and resulting shoulder pain.

What treatments are available for shoulder pain?

Shoulder Pain Management JacksonvilleDepending on the severity of the injury, treatment can range from immobilization and rest combined with cold compresses, to surgical intervention.

Stretching and physical therapy can promote proper healing of an injury; physical therapy is a useful method for recovering from injury.

When the injury first occurs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can be useful in reducing swelling. For more serious conditions the patient may benefit from cortisone injections that can be performed by a physician. With more severe injuries, surgical intervention may be necessary, followed by physical therapy. Your physician will decide the best course of action for your particular condition.