Shoulder pain is a common problem that affects millions of Americans each year. In most cases, this discomfort only lasts a short time, and the person is able to resume normal activities quickly. However, in other cases, significant disability can occur, and the patient may require ongoing physical therapy or even surgery to correct the damage. A closer look at shoulder pain can help you to determine the cause of the injury and what you may need to relieve pain and restore full function.
Severe trauma, such as from an automobile accident or fall, can cause chronic shoulder pain. However, the vast majority of shoulder pain cases are caused by overuse and repetitive motion injuries. Osteoarthritis can also affect shoulder joints, causing chronic pain, swelling and loss of motion. A number of systemic diseases can also cause shoulder pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Lyme disease and gout.
The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the human body. It is made up of four muscles and five bone groups the function smoothly together to provide a wide range of movement. The main joint, called the glenohumeral joint, is the ball-and-socket combination that allows this range of motion. Overuse can cause damage to any part of this delicate mechanism. Inflammation can affect the small sac of lubricating fluid in the bursa. Bones and cartilage can be damaged by arthritis. A visit to a physician that specializes in joint problems can help to determine the cause of the problem and design an effective treatment program to eliminate pain and increase function.
Shoulder pain problems are diagnosed using x-rays, MRI and CT scans. In some cases, oral anti-inflammatory medications can help to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Physicians often recommend a change in activity level until the injury has resolved. Corticosteroid injections may be necessary to treat inflammation in the joint. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
New technologies are providing new methods of treatment for many types of muscle and joint injury. Dynamic neuromuscluar stabilization, or DNS, uses reflex stimulation and manually assisted exercise to maximize movement patterns and reduce dysfunction. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy, or ECST, offers a non-invasive technique to increase blood circulation, stimulate the metabolism and enhance tissue regeneration to accelerate the healing process. New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy offers both of these therapies to help patients
Keeping your shoulder joint healthy can be achieved by taking a number of proactive steps before strenuous activity:
Maintaining strong, healthy shoulder function is a process of preventive actions and monitoring minor problems to prevent more serious injuries. If you experience shoulder pain on an ongoing basis, talk to a specialist to determine the cause of the problem and your options for treatment.