Shoulder pain includes any pain that arises in or around your shoulder. Shoulder pain may originate in the joint itself, or from any of the many surrounding muscles, ligaments, bursa or tendons. Shoulder pain usually worsens with activities or movement of your arm or shoulder.
Many shoulder problems are caused by the breakdown of soft tissues in the shoulder region. Using the shoulder too much can cause the soft tissue to break down faster as people get older. Doing manual labor or playing sports may cause shoulder problems.
Certain diseases and conditions affecting structures in your chest or abdomen, such as heart disease or gallbladder disease, also may cause shoulder pain. Shoulder pain that arises from some other structure is called "referred pain." Referred shoulder pain usually doesn't worsen when you move your shoulder.
Shoulder pain causes include:
- Avascular necrosis
- Brachial plexus injury
- Broken arm
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Dislocated shoulder
- Frozen shoulder
- Heart attack
- Sprains and strains
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rotator cuff injury
- Separated shoulder
- Septic arthritis
- Tendon rupture
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Torn cartilage
Location of Pain:
- Outside of Shoulder: Pain over the outside of the shoulder often extends down the arm. The pain is often a deep muscle ache. The most common cause of pain over the outside of the shoulder is a rotator cuff problem, including tendonitis, bursitis, or a rotator cuff tear.
- Front of Shoulder: Pain in the front of the shoulder is most commonly related to the biceps tendon The biceps tendon attaches deep inside the shoulder; problems of the biceps include biceps tendonitis and biceps tears.
- Top of Shoulder: The most common cause of pain in the top of the shoulder is an abnormal AC joint. Problems of the AC joint include AC Arthritis andshoulder separations.
As the cause of shoulder pain is greatly varied, the following list of symptoms represents a sampling of different symptoms that may be generated by any of several causes.
- Feeling like electric shock or burning sensation shooting down the arm
- Numbness which radiates down the arm
- Weakness or inability to use arm, shoulder, wrist or grip muscles
- Complete inability to raise or move arm without shoulder pain
- Obvious swelling or redness around an affected joint
- Pain upon shoulder rotation or movement
- All over achiness
The following treatment options may be utilized in the treatment of various types of shoulder/arm pain:
- Pharmacological Intervention -NSAID’s, analgesics, nerve pain medications and narcotic pain medications are all options in the treatment of Shoulder pain.*
- Periarticular Joint Injection -An injection of a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory around or into a painful joint, can quickly reduce pain and inflammation.*
- Trigger Point Injection -An injection of an anti-inflammatory medication into tight and irritated muscle tissue can relax and release painful knots in the rotator cuff muscles and surrounding areas.*
*Individual results may vary.