Shoulder pain can be very uncomfortable for sufferers, and can deeply affect your day to day life. Everything from sitting and laying to walking and working is impacted by a shoulder injury, so it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. In order to get fast and effective treatment, you need to, first of all, identify the exact cause of your shoulder pain. Below we have outlined the most common causes of a shoulder injury...

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability occurs when the ball and socket joint of the shoulder does not function properly.  This is experienced as a feeling of slipping or catching when moving the arm and can also cause the shoulder to dislocate. Symptoms include a feeling of numbness, weakness or tiredness in the shoulder and a clicking, locking or popping sensation when moving it. If the shoulder dislocates, pain is usually severe, with the arm appearing to sit visibly at the wrong angle and sometimes painful muscle spasms are also present.

Rotator Cuff and Tendon Disorders

The rotator cuff is a collective term used to describe the group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping it in the correct position as it moves through its range of motion. Because the rotator cuff is made up of so many different muscles and tendons, symptoms and the locality of pain associated with rotator cuff disorders can vary greatly.  However, common signs of this disorder include:

  • pain when you move your arm above your head
  • pain when you move your arm sideways away from your body in an arching motion
  • pain on the front and side of your shoulder
  • pain during the night

  Rotator cuff disorders can take a number of forms. The most common are tendonitis, bursitis and tears:

  • Tendonitis or Bursitis

This is characterised by a swelling of the tendon or bursa and is usually caused by overuse.  The swelling can cause the tendons or bursa to become trapped between bones, known as "impingement".  This can sometimes lead to tearing.

  • Tears

When a tear occurs in the muscles and tendons of the shoulder, this usually results in pain and weakness in that area.  Tears are more common in over 60s as tendons weaken with age.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, occurs when there is a thickening or swelling of the flexible muscle tissue around the shoulder joint.  This condition has become known as frozen shoulder due to the feeling of tightness and restriction sufferers report feeling in their shoulder. The symptoms of frozen shoulder can manifest very differently from one person to the next but can include pain and reduced range of motion. 

This can result in difficulty or inability to carry out simple, everyday tasks, such as dressing yourself or carrying out household chores.  Symptoms typically worsen over a number of months or years and the condition is more common in people who have sustained previous injuries to the shoulder area, diabetes sufferers or those with an overactive thyroid.

Acromioclavicular Joint Disorders

This joint is found at the very top of the shoulder (not the ball and socket joint previously mentioned).  There are three main causes of acromioclavicular disorder:

  • dislocation
  • osteoarthritis
  • tearing of ligaments

Common indicators that you might have an acromioclavicular disorder include pain at the top of the shoulder or in the joint and a reduced range of motion.   People most at risk of this kind of disorder include those who play contact sports or who have sustained shoulder injuries in the past.

Make a shoulder injury claim with Cute Injury today...

If you have suffered a shoulder injury following an accident that wasn't your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To learn more about how Cute Injury can help, get in touch today using the options below...

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