In the United States, shoulder pain is the third most commonly treated musculoskeletal condition.
Sleeping in a bad position or carrying heavy weights can strain your shoulder. However, if the issue becomes chronic, it’s worth looking into what’s causing it.
Bonaventure Ngu, MD, at Premier Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas, is an expert in treating shoulder pain. In this blog, he discusses six of the most common causes of shoulder pain.
1. Rotator cuff tendinitis
The most common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinitis, a condition that’s caused by the swelling of tendons.
Your tendons can get inflamed if you perform repetitive overhead movements, such as throwing a ball or washing windows. Rotator cuff tendinitis typically causes radiating pain and a clicking sound in the shoulder.
2. Impingement syndrome
If you experience pain when stretching overhead, or if you experience pain accompanied by weakness, you may suffer from impingement syndrome.
When left untreated, impingement syndrome can lead to inflammation and cause the tendons in your shoulder to thin out and tear. If you catch it early, however, you may be able to get relief to your shoulders by using conservative methods, such as injections, medication, and rest.
Reduced range of motion, pain, and stiffness can all be signs of a degenerative disease, such as arthritis. Shoulder arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder begins to wear down.
You may be able to treat arthritis in the shoulder without invasive procedures. Lifestyle modifications, gentle stretches, rest, and medications may be able to halt the progression of the disease.
4. Pinched nerve
A pinched nerve in the shoulder usually occurs because a spinal disc puts pressure on a nearby nerve or because of an acute injury. If you have an acute injury, rest and painkillers will usually help. If you have a ruptured disc, Dr. Ngu may suggest medications, physical therapy, or even surgery, depending on the severity.
Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons, and it often occurs in people who engage in repetitive movements on a daily basis. Athletes and musicians are often at risk.
To lower your risk, space out activities that require repetitive movements. Include 24 hours of rest between sessions so your tendons have time to recover.
6. Sprained or strained ligaments or muscles
Trauma, such as injuries from a car accident, can cause ligaments that support the shoulder to get stretched and joints to become dislocated or separated.
Stretching out your arm awkwardly can also lead to strained ligaments. In mild cases, rest and painkillers should be enough to treat the symptoms.
With the help of CT scans, X-rays, and other diagnostic tools, Dr. Ngu can pinpoint the root of your symptoms and recommend a treatment that allows you to go back to your daily routine.
To uncover the source of your pain and get quick relief, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.