The Most Common Shoulder Injuries

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Woman with shoulder ingury

Overview

People pretty much rely on the shoulder for performing a lot of activities such as pushing cabinets, lifting heavy objects or weights, throwing a ball, and other furnitures, paddling, and a whole lot more.

The shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint because of its wide range in motion.
The shoulder is flexible yet it is not stable and is prone to injury.

Here are the most common shoulder injuries that are experienced frequently:

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability often occurs in athletes and young people. The shoulder becomes unstable when the ligaments and muscles holding it together are stretched outside their limits or beyond what they can take. This also means that one of the shoulder joints moves out of its normal position. People suffering from this condition will feel the pain once they raise their arm. They may also feel like the shoulder is slipping out of place.

This is normal for young people when it comes to their development and growth. As for athletes, this condition is a result of certain movements or motions such as pitching, tackling, or hitting a tennis ball or a shuttlecock with a racquet. These types of motions put so much strength and force on the shoulder allowing the shoulder ligaments to stretch over a period of time. Shoulder instability causes pain that may come quickly or after some time. It gives a feeling of weakness in the arms and a feeling that the shoulder is loose.

This condition may lead to dislocation of one of the shoulder joints.

Strains / Overuse

Sudden movements of the shoulders due to a sudden increase in activity can lead to a loss of flexibility and can put much stress on the shoulders. This is a common problem for middle-aged people especially those who are not used to doing regular exercise but engage themselves in extreme sports every now and then. This can also occur if you are not used to lifting weights and you suddenly lift heavy weights that are way too heavy for you.

The pain and discomfort brought about by overuse and strains are usually treated with NSAIDS, stretching exercises, and rest.

Arthritis

Shoulder pain can be caused by arthritis. There are a lot of types of arthritis in the shoulder but the most common one is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cushion or the cartilage between joints breaks down and the joints start to wear and tear and become larger. Overuse is the most common cause of osteoarthritis.

People with osteoarthritis have the painful restriction of movement or motion. They usually try to avoid moving the shoulders to lessen the pain caused by arthritis.

The kind of treatment for arthritis relies on the pain. The normal treatments recommended are NSAIDs, cortisone shots, and rest.

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is composed of tendons and muscles that keep the head of the upper-arm bone firmly in the shoulder socket.

Rotator cuff tear usually affects middle-aged or older adults who already have shoulder problems although it can also affect younger people. The tendons of people who are aging and are not so much active start to lose strength and degenerate. A rotator cuff tear may be caused by the weakening of the tendons. The shoulder does not get enough blood supply which makes it more difficult for tendons to repair themselves.

The rotator cuff tendons can tear when trying to lift very heavy things with just an extended arm and it can also occur from falling or when trying to catch a falling object that is heavy.

Having a torn rotator cuff means having sore shoulders where one experiences difficulty in raising the arm. Pain is felt when there is pressure exerted on the shoulder.

Frozen Shoulder

This condition is an extreme stiffness felt in the shoulder. Frozen shoulder can affect anyone of any age but it often affects people between 40 to 60 years old. The causes are yet to be determined but it can definitely affect those with heart disease, thyroid disease, Parkinson disease, or diabetes. This condition can also occur if you haven’t moved your shoulder for a really long time.

Having a hard time moving the shoulder in any direction without feeling the pain is the main symptom of this condition.

This condition is normally treated by NSAIDs, physical therapy, or cortisone shots.

Impingement

Impingement is a result of an excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the shoulder blade. When the arm is raised or lifted, the acromion impinges or rubs the bursa and the rotator cuff tendons. This may result in tendinitis and bursitis which causes a lot of pain and limit in movement.

Fracture

Shoulder fractures involve the bones in the shoulder which includes the collarbone, the upper arm bone, and the shoulder blade.

Fractures are often a result of a fall for older patients and contact sports injuries or motor vehicles accidents for younger people.

Fractures may cause swelling, bruising, and severe pain.