Here Is Why Your Shoulders Is In Pain!

Overview | Working Of Shoulders | Causes | Symptoms management | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention exercises

Muscle strains, heavy backpacks, injuries; our shoulders have to bear what not? But, do we pay as much attention to our shoulders as it deserves? Maybe no, that’s why we start to take care of it only when it begins to pain a lot. But no need to worry, as you will come to know everything you need to when you read further.

What is shoulder pain and how our shoulder works?

Simply, the pain cured in the shoulder area of our body is known as shoulder pain. The shoulder has a wide and versatile range of motion. Our shoulder has three main parts:

  • Humerus ( upper arm)
  • Scapular ( shoulder blade)
  • Clavicle ( collar bone)

The top of the humerus is shaped like a ball and it does into a scapula. The ball centered is kept in the socket with the help of strong ligaments. The lift and rotation of our shoulder are done with the help of rotator cuff muscles ( which also cover the left arm bone).  Any problem in this architecture of the shoulder will lead to pain, weakness, or inability of the shoulder.

Causes of shoulder pain:

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis ( tenor are the tissues which joint the bones with muscles)
  • Tensions in the muscles between the neck and shoulders
  • Avascular necrosis ( death of bone tissues due to limited blood flow)
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Bursitis ( joint inflammation)
  • Broken collarbone
  • Referred pain ( when the pain starts from another part like neck, head, etc. And reached to shoulders)
  • Torn cartilage
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Arthritis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Broken shoulder or arm bone
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Sprains
  • A pinched nerve in the neck or shoulder
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Septic arthritis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Injury due to overuse or repetitive use
  • Bone spurs
  • Heart attack
  • Poor sitting position
  • Tendon rupture
  • Swallow tendons
  • Biceps tendinopathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Inflammation
  • Superior labrum anterior-posterior tear ( SLAP tear)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lungs conditions

Calcific tendonitis and calcific periarthritis:

Sometimes pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving your shoulders are caused by calcium crystals that may be formed inside the tendons. Tendons are those strong cords of tissues that attach muscles to bones.

Calcium is a very important mineral for our body. As it makes bones and teeth strong along with other jobs. But if we consume too much of it, then the excess of calcium forms sharp and tiny crystals inside our body, sometimes within the tendons, sometimes somewhere else.

When these calcium crystal are formed in tendons, this condition is called calcific tendonitis. This can happen in the whole body including shoulders.

Calcium crystals can then shed from a tendon and can cause pain and swelling around a joint, this is called calcific periarthritis.

Symptoms management:

Simple painkillers such as paracetamol, or Non – steroid anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen tablets or gels may help to cure your shoulder pain. But, if the pain persists for more than 2 weeks, then don’t rely on the medicines given by chemist, go for medical help or specialist immediately.

Diagnosis of shoulder pain:

Medical history and physical examination are the first two things your doctor will ask for, in the diagnosis of shoulder pain. Imaging tests such as X – ray or MRI test can be helpful to form a detailed picture of your shoulder pain. To see the injuries or swelling of muscles, tendons, etc. Ultrasound can be conducted. Nerve conduction study can also be perform.

When to visit a doctor regarding shoulder pain?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned below, then visit your doctor immediately, without wasting any time:

  • Intense pain
  • Sudden swelling
  • fever
  • Weakness or numbness in the arm or hand
  • Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while sleeping
  • Lasting bruising
  • Inability to use the shoulder
  • Sign of an infection including fever, redness, and warmth
  • Heat and tenderness around the joints
  • Deformity
  • Persistent pain for more than 2 weeks beyond home treatment
  • Trouble breathing along with abdominal pain and shoulder pain
  • If your shoulder pain is sudden, without any injury, then it may be a sign of heart attack. Other signs of a heart attack are –
  • Excessive sweating
  • Pain in the neck or jaw
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness

Treatment of shoulder pain:

Shoulder pain treatment will depend on the cause and severity of the pain. Some treatments include physical or occupational therapy, a sling or shoulder immobilizer, or surgery. Medications such as corticosteroids etc. Can also be prescribed by your doctor.

Treatment of shoulder pain at home:

To treat minor shoulder pain at home, one can opt an icing therapy. For this just take some ice cubes and cover the ice cubes in an ice bag or cloth or towel. Now, massage your shoulder by using these ice cubes for about 15 – 20 minutes. Can practice this therapy three to four times a day, for several days.

  • Rest your shoulders for several days, before returning to your daily routine.
  • Avoid any movement that might cause pain.
  • Limit overhead work or activities
  • You can compress the swallowed area to resolve swallowing.
  • Avoid carrying out heavy bag packs that can cause pain to you shoulder.

Tips to prevent shoulder pain:

Exercises for shoulder health –

  1. Seated shoulder stretch –

Repetition – 2 to 4 times

Hold – 10 to 30 seconds

How to perform:

Sit straight on a chair, place your left hand on your right shoulder. Hold your left elbow with your right hand. Roll your shoulders, then pull your left elbow across your chest as you extend your left arm. While doing so, your left shoulder should be stretched. Hold on this position and then release. This is one representation. Back to your initial position and then repeat the procedure with your right hand.

  • Seated triceps stretch :

  Repetition –  2 to 4 times

  Hold – 10 to 30 seconds

How to perform:  Sit straight and put your right hand on your right shoulder. Clasp your right elbow with your left hand. Lift your right elbow towards the ceiling to the point of tightness, while Keeping your shoulders down and back. You must be feeling a stretch in the back of your upper right arm and shoulder. Hold, then release. This is one representation. Repeat the same procedure on the other side.


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