It’s natural to occasionally have some shoulder pain. Tension, exercise, exertion, and even poor posture when sitting in front of a computer can all cause those muscles to become tight and sore. But if you have shoulder pain that doesn’t go away and that actually hinders your range of motion, there could be a bigger problem at play. Keep reading to learn the possible causes of your ongoing shoulder pain, and consider contacting a shoulder orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta to schedule an appointment.
Though arthritis in the shoulder isn’t extremely common when compared to arthritis in the knee and hip joint, it does occur. If you experience aching and stiffness in your shoulder joint (or in both shoulder joints), and it’s significantly worse in the morning, you could have arthritis. There are treatments and medications that can help you to manage your arthritis symptoms so you can live a more pain-free life, so be sure to discuss your options with your doctor.
Rotator Cuff Injury
A group of muscles and tendons surrounds your should joint and helps to keep the arm bone in the shoulder socket. This collection of muscles and tendons is known as the rotator cuff, and it’s not uncommon for injuries to occur to this part of the joint. Rotator cuff injuries become more common with age, as the muscles and tendons weaken over time. However, they can occur in younger individuals as well.
If you’ve torn your rotator cuff in a single injury, such as a fall while playing sports, surgery may be necessary to repair it. In the case of extensive tearing, the existing tendons may not be reparable, and tendons may need to be transplanted from other parts of the body, or you may need to consider a total joint replacement.
If the pain in your shoulder is sharp, becomes worse when you turn your head, or causes a prickling sensation in your shoulder, it could be the result of a pinched nerve in the neck or shoulder. If this is the case, physical therapy is the most common treatment to help improve the flexibility and strength of the impacted muscles. You may also take anti-inflammatory medications or receive steroid injections to reduce any swelling around the pinched nerve.
Adhesive capsulitis, better known as frozen shoulder, will greatly limit your range of motion in your shoulder joint. It will cause pain and stiffness in your shoulder, and you’ll likely limit your movement of the shoulder to avoid the pain; reduced movement will further increase stiffness until you find that you can’t move your shoulder as you once did. Simple tasks like reaching for an item on a shelf or washing your hair on the shower will be extremely difficult or even impossible with the impacted shoulder.
Frozen shoulder occurs when the tissues in your joint become thicker and tighter and scar tissue develops. This can cause inflammation and adhesions, severely limiting your range of motion. It is usually treated with a combination of medication and physical therapy, but surgery is sometimes necessary as well.
If you suffer from persistent shoulder pain contact an expert in shoulder orthopedic in Atlanta at OrthoAtlanta today.