Shoulder Pain

Common is Rotator cuff (group of 4 muscles that stabilise the shoulder) injuries- range from mild to severe.

3 Types

  1. Tendinitis is an injury caused by overuse of the rotator cuff. This causes it to become inflamed. Tennis players who serve overhead and painters who reach upward to paint may commonly experience this injury.This is why the condition may also be referred to as swimmer’s shoulder, pitcher’s shoulder, or tennis shoulder.
  2. Bursitis is another common rotator cuff injury. It is caused by inflammation of the bursa, which are fluid-filled sacs in the rotator cuff that aid in motion. This typically occurs after an injury or degenerative damage to the rotator cuff.
  3. Rotator cuff strains or tears are caused by overuse or acute injury. The tendons that connect muscles to bones can overstretch (strain) or tear, partially or completely. The same can be true for rotator cuff muscles. For example, a baseball pitcher who frequently uses the rotator cuff to throw would experience this type of injury. Untreated tendinitis commonly causes these injuries

The rotator cuff can also strain or tear after a fall, a car accident, or another sudden injury. These injuries typically cause intense and immediate pain.

Risk Group

  1. Acute injuries are the result of previous injuries. These can be caused by lifting objects that are too heavy, falling, or breaking the collarbone. Young people are more likely to experience this type of rotator cuff injury
  2. Degenerative injuries are due to long-term overuse. People most at risk for these injuries include:
  • athletes, particularly tennis players, baseball players, rowers, and wrestlers
  • people with jobs that require repetitive lifting, such as painters and carpenters
  • people above 40 years of age.

Symptoms

Not all rotator cuff injuries cause pain. Because some are the result of degenerative conditions, the rotator cuff could be damaged for months or years before symptoms start to appear.

Common rotator cuff injury symptoms include:

  • avoiding certain activities because they cause pain
  • difficulty achieving full range of shoulder motion
  • difficulty sleeping on the affected shoulder
  • pain or tenderness when reaching overhead
  • pain in the shoulder, especially at night
  • progressive weakness of the shoulder
  • trouble reaching behind the back
  • Pain is different for each person.
  • A shoulder injury that lasts longer than six months indicates a very large tear or significant loss of function and strength in the arm.

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