Understanding Different Types of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain – it hurts!! And it can be really debilitating. It can affect your sleep, your work, driving, exercise, and even activities such as cooking and getting dressed.

The best way to combat your shoulder pain is to actually understand what is wrong with your shoulder, why the pain is happening and then be able fix the problem with appropriate treatment, rehabilitation and pain management.

This is where Osteopathy can help you!

Having the correct diagnosis for your shoulder pain will help determine best treatment and management and referral options.

Diagnosis of your shoulder pain will come about through thorough medical history questioning, physical examination and orthopaedic and special tests of the shoulder, and possibly imaging such as ultrasound, CT or MRI if it is indicated.

Shoulder pain can present in different ways.

It can have one or many signs and symptoms. The pain may be:

  • Dull

  • Sharp

  • Achy

  • Stiff

  • Acute or Chronic

  • Local to one part of the shoulder

  • Travelling pain from the shoulder to the surrounding areas such as neck, upper back and arm

  • Limit shoulder movement

  • Limit neck movement

  • Unilateral (one sided) or Bilateral (both sided)

  • Muscle spasm involvement of the rotator cuff and surrounding shoulder, back and neck muscles

  • Weakness in muscle activity and movement of the shoulder and upper back

  • Catching pain in the shoulder

There are many common conditions that can contribute to shoulder pain. These can include:

  • Arthritis in the shoulder

  • Adhesive Capsulitis, also commonly known as Frozen Shoulder

  • Rotator Cuff muscle issues which can include:

  • Tendonitis

  • Partial or full tear of one or several of the rotator cuff tendons

  • Impingement of the rotator cuff tendon/s

  • Bursitis of the shoulder

  • Impingement of the muscle/s around the shoulder

  • Tear in the labrum of the shoulder

  • Referral from the neck – disc, joint or muscle complaints such as bulge, arthritis or spasm

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome giving referred pain to the shoulder

  • Muscle spasm in the shoulder, upper back and/or neck

More serious injury or pain in the shoulder that requires immediate medical attention includes:

  • Fracture of the clavicle (collar bone), humerus (upper arm bone), neck vertebra

  • Dislocation of the shoulder joint

  • Shoulder pain accompanied with

  • Chest pain,

  • Shortness of breath,

  • Fever,

  • Clamminess,

  • Disorientation,

  • Nausea and fainting.

  • Pins and needles in the arm/hand alongside the above symptoms

Understanding your shoulder pain will help allow for best management such as treatment, as well as other things you can do to help your pain.

This can include:

  • Use of ice or heat packs

  • Taping of the shoulder, upper back and neck

  • Use of postural brace

  • Use of massage tools

  • Exercise rehabilitation and stretches

  • Use of medication such as pain relief, inflammatory medication or natural supplements such as Magnesium or Tumeric

  • Knowing how to sleep at night supported for your shoulder

If you are suffering from shoulder pain then go to google and type in “osteopath near me” for best management and treatment of your pain.

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