Sometimes a sore shoulder may be a sign of dysfunction elsewhere in the body, such as in the cervical spine (cervical spine pain radiating to the shoulder). It is then called pain transferred. Among the other reasons, there are also:
- painful shoulder syndrome,
- frozen shoulder,
- inflammation of the shoulder joint,
sub-brachial isthmus syndrome (also known as sub-brachial tightness syndrome),
- instability of the shoulder joint and shoulder,
- damage to the labrum of the SLAP type shoulder joint,
- damage to the tendon of the long head of the biceps muscle,
- degenerative changes in the shoulder-clavicular joint (degenerative changes in ACJ),
injuries sustained as a result of an accident.
Sometimes shoulder pain may not be related to damage to the described anatomical structures. In many cases, shoulder pain is identified with cardiac dysfunction and neoplastic changes in the lungs.Pain in the shoulder joint is an alarming symptom.
However, in order to be able to differentiate ailments and make a proper diagnosis, a detailed interview is needed, which will allow for preliminary exclusion of certain dysfunctions and directing further diagnostic procedures.
Symptoms that often accompany shoulder and arm pain include:
- pain tenderness and limitation of the range of motion (even complete blockage of the shoulder may occur),
- muscle weakness,
- clearly audible cracks and shoulder crunches during movements,
- ailments of a neurological nature in the form of shoulder pain
- radiating to the hand and neck, to the elbow and wrist,
- shoulder pain
- shoulder pain at night,
- shoulder pain when lifting a hand,
- shoulder pain when raising your arm to the side.
Shoulder pain – diagnosis
In addition to the aforementioned interview, a physical examination is also very important, aimed at assessing the range of motion, muscle strength and performing clinical tests revealing pain. Very often, such preliminary procedures allow to diagnose subacial tightness, shoulder inflammation or shoulder churning.
Subsequently, if there are such medical reasons, the doctor may decide to perform shoulder ultrasound, X-ray, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Sometimes laboratory tests may also be necessary. It gives an extremely clear clinical picture of the symptoms presented by the patient, although it is not always the rule.
Shoulder pain – treatment
Treating shoulder pain can go two ways. The optimistic variant assumes the implementation of conservative procedures, which is particularly applicable when pathological changes are not advanced. It also depends on the cause of the presented ailments.
For shoulder pain, symptomatic treatment is usually performed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immobilization in a sling, corticosteroid injections, intra-articular administration of hyaluronic acid or injections with the use of platelet-rich plasma.
The ineffectiveness of this type of procedure in the prescribed time or disqualification from such a treatment procedure usually leaves a solution in the form of a surgical procedure, such as, for example, arthroscopy of the shoulder.