The shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle).
The head of your upper arm bone fits into a rounded socket in your shoulder blade. This socket is called the glenoid. A combination of muscles and tendons keeps your arm bone centered in your shoulder socket. These tissues are called the rotator cuff. They cover the head of your upper arm bone and attach it to your shoulder blade.
Most shoulder problems fall into four major categories:
- Tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or tendon tear
- Fracture (broken bone)
CONDITIONS & SYMPTOMS
The following are symptoms of shoulder pain you may be experiencing. If any of the below sound familiar, please make an appointment with our specialists.
Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that are located in joints throughout the body, including the shoulder. They act as cushions between bones and the overlying soft tissues, and help reduce friction between the gliding muscles and the bone. Generally, tendinitis is one of two types:
- Acute – Excessive ball throwing or other overhead activities during work or sport can lead to acute tendinitis.
- Chronic – Degenerative diseases like arthritis or repetitive wear and tear due to age, can lead to chronic tendinitis. The most commonly affected tendons in the shoulder are the four rotator cuff tendons and one of the biceps tendons.
Splitting and tearing of tendons may result from acute injury or degenerative changes in the tendons due to advancing age, long-term overuse and wear and tear, or a sudden injury. Rotator cuff and biceps tendon injuries are among the most common of these injuries.
Shoulder impingement occurs when the top of the shoulder blade (acromion) puts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when the arm is lifted away from the body. As the arm is lifted, the acromion rubs, or “impinges” on, the rotator cuff tendons and bursa.
Shoulder instability occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder socket. This can happen as a result of a sudden injury or from overuse.
Treatments for the Shoulder
Some treatments for shoulder pain are listed as follows. In the case of an acute injury causing intense pain, seek medical care as soon as possible by calling our specialists.
- Resting the painful area
- Physical therapy
- Numbing medication to reduce inflammation and pain
- Surgery, involving arthroscopy to remove scar tissue or repair torn tissues or open procedures for larger reconstructions or shoulder replacement