Shoulder Joint Pain
Dealing with Shoulder Joint Pain
Shoulder joint pain is very common among athletes, but just about anyone can suffer from shoulder pains regardless of their activity level, age, or gender. Understanding the causes of shoulder problems will help you to know what you can do to deal with the pain. It can be tough to live with an ache or pain in your shoulder, as it’s one of the most used joints in your body. Dealing with your shoulder joint pain is an important part of living a healthy, pain-free life!
Causes of Shoulder Joint Pain
Do you know what causes your shoulder pain?
Many people expect that shoulder joint pain comes from sports or other injuries, and the truth is that often the pain is caused by an injury. However, the reality is that shoulder pain can be caused by anything that breaks down the tissues in the shoulder joint. Using it too much can cause the tissue to be broken down, and keeping it in the wrong position for prolonged periods of time can also cause the pain. Any form of manual labor can cause the shoulder pain, and sports injuries are a given.
There are certain disorders that can cause the pain in your shoulder, such as gallbladder, liver, or heart disease. There is a disease of your spine that is located in your neck, and it too can be the cause of shoulder joint pain. There are so many things that can cause the pain, so it can be hard to determine the specific cause of the pain if you haven’t injured it doing sports.
Types of Shoulder Joint Pain
Here are some of the more common types of shoulder joint pain:
- Rotator Cuff Tear – The rotator cuff is an important part of your shoulder joint, but sometimes the tendons in the cuff can be torn from the bone. This can be very painful, and it may require surgery to correct.
- Bursitis -- There are small sacs around the joints called the bursae, and they can become inflamed. When this happens, the joint swells up and becomes very painful.
- Frozen Shoulder -- This is commonly known as “adhesive capsulitis”, and it’s a condition that causes your joint to become very stiff. It will require stretching and physical therapy to overcome the problem.
- Loose Joint -- When the socket of your shoulder is too large for the ball of your arm, your joint will be loose and much more likely to slip out of place.
- Calcific Tendonitis -- The tendons around your shoulders can sometimes experience a buildup of calcium, and it can be painful and severely limited your range of motion.
- Dislocation -- This is when the ball comes completely out of the socket, and it’s very painful!
- Separation -- This is different than your shoulder being dislocated, and it’s the result of the AC joint being disrupted.
- Arthritis -- Many people develop arthritis in all of their joints, and the shoulder joints are some of the most commonly affected.
These are just a few of the types of shoulder joint pain, but now that you know what is causing the pain, you can know how to deal with it!
Dealing with Shoulder Joint Pain
If you have pain in your shoulder, there are a few things that you can do to deal with it:
Rest – The #1 recommendation of all doctors and therapists for the average shoulder pain will be to rest. Most of the time, the pain will be caused by an injury or damage to the shoulder, and giving the shoulder time to heal will be the best way to encourage it to repair itself. If you rest with your arm in a splint and as immobile as possible, it will give your body the chance to repair the damage to the shoulder.
Ice — Applying ice to the injured area will help to prevent it from swelling up too much, which can be even more painful and limiting. Apply ice to the injured area every couple of hours, holding it in place for about 20 minutes at a time. The cold will help to stop the swelling, which will allow the blood vessels around your shoulder to be able to send nutrients to repair the damage.
Elevation — Get that shoulder up above the level of your heart, which means that you can’t lie in bed if you want the shoulder to heal. Place a pillow beneath your shoulder, and raise it so that it will not get too much blood flow.
Compression – Compressing the injured area will help to reduce any swelling, which will just make it harder for you to use the joint. If you have an ACE Bandage or a wrap that you can use to apply pressure to your shoulder, use it. With a bit of medical rub to help keep the joint cool and send the blood rushing to it, you’ll find that your shoulder will heal in no time.
If you have a shoulder injury as a result of sports or an active pastime (martial arts, DIY projects, etc.), it’s important that you take a break from those activities. You want to avoid damaging your shoulder further, and straining it will just cause the pain to get worse. In fact, you could compound the problem, as the shoulder is already fairly weak and more susceptible to injury. Take pains to avoid any situations where you should injure the shoulder joint any further.
Once the pain has subsided, it may be a good idea to build up the muscles in your shoulders. Often the damage will be the result of insufficient support and protection around your joints, but building muscles can help. Check with your doctor to see what you can do to prevent the pain from being a problem again. It may be painful, but you don’t have to let your shoulder joint pain stop you from enjoying an active lifestyle if you take proper care of it!