Shoulder Pain Causes and Treatment
Shoulder pain and injuries to the shoulder should begin to recover within a couple of weeks. However, some do not and can affect your quality of life by making everyday tasks difficult to do and even affecting sleep.
A large proportion of people suffering from shoulder pain may attribute their pain to their duties at work from repetitive lifting, or an accident at work. Nathan Briganti of Briganti Physiotherapy, a musculoskeletal specialist physiotherapist, working within NHS, Private Practice and Professional sport has provided some useful information on shoulder pain causes and treatment options which can be used to relieve this type of pain.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body, which is why it can achieve such complex movement patterns and can be incredibly strong. However, this amazing range of movement sometimes comes with its problems and irregularities.
You may have a shoulder problem/ injury or shoulder pain that has gradually developed over time or that has come on quite suddenly. There may have been a traumatic incident such as a fall on the shoulder or a change in exercise levels that could have triggered it.
· Injuries. This can be from repetitive use or can be as innocuous as changing the gear in the car or putting on a jacket. Due to the complexity of the shoulder joint several structures can actually give shoulder pain.
· Acromioclavicular Joint Pain. People usually complain of pain at the top of the shoulder and are able to point directly to the spot. It can be caused due to trauma such as a fall or a rugby tackle or lifting shoulder/bench press too heavy in the gym.
· Rotator Cuff Strain. One of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Can be from over use injury or lifting too heavy or innocuous from a small movement. The rotator cuffs sole purpose is to keep the shoulder from dislocating, these 4 muscles work in conjunction to help move the arm. When damaged the tendons can get inflamed leading to painful shoulder. If the damage is moderate to severe it can cause a rupture of the tendon. If you have severe shoulder pain with restriction you should speak to a healthcare professional.
· Frozen Shoulder involves the lining of the shoulder joint, known as the ‘capsule’. The capsule or ligaments are normally very flexible and elastic in nature. This flexibility allows the amazing range of motion that the shoulder has. With a frozen shoulder this capsule (and its ligaments) become inflamed, swollen, red and contracted. Therefore, when you try and move the shoulder the pain stops you and then the inflamed section becomes short and very tight. There are normally 3 different phases to frozen shoulder the initial painful stage where its very painful to do any tasks whatsoever. This then develops into the stiff painful phase, probably stiffening as its so painful to move. Following this the pain tends to resolve and patient are left with a frozen shoulder. People will recover albeit not fully within 2 years of developing a frozen shoulder normally but if you can see and treat a frozen shoulder in the first phases within a couple weeks of onset, a steroid injection is enough to stop it from developing further.
· Trauma is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. They can be from a specific moment in time like a fall or lifting something to heavy. If you cannot move or lift your arm or its very painful to touch following a injury you should seek medical attention urgently
· Infections– are rare but if your shoulder becomes hot, red, swollen and have a painful uncomfortable feeling and you feel unwell, please contact your GP.
· Bad Posture can cause tension in the group of muscles or tendons between your neck and shoulders. Gradually your shoulders will get weaker and stiffer. This causes other muscles in your neck and upper back to over work and lead to pain.
· Osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff. Some people have swelling, tenderness of the joint. The shoulder can be affected by OA as its one of the predominant load bearing joints in the body. OA is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. OA tends to happen over time as we age.
· Referred Pain or Radiated Pain– Other causes such as spinal issues can be the root cause sometimes of shoulder pain. This is seen a lot in people in people who have neck or upper back problems. Neck referred pain can make you shoulder blade or your upper outer arm painful. If your shoulder blade hurt, and you feel a tingling sensation in your hand or arm, it can be the result of problems in your spine.
· Accidents – Accidents at work, such as slips, trips and falls, or manual handling accidents can lead to shoulder pain and shoulder injuries. Other accidents, such as road traffic accidents, and accidents in public places can also lead to shoulder pain.
Shoulder Pain Causes and Treatment: How To Relieve Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is quite common for people of all ages. There are many relief methods you can do at home and work to prevent any or further injury or pain to your shoulders. Some of these include:
· Exercising– Doing stretching exercises for your shoulders will help release existing or potential tension. This will help the shoulder muscles relax and stay loose. This will help enable you to be more flexible.
· Ice and Heat Packs-These help blood circulation help to reduce swelling and pain in the shoulders to speed up recovery.
· Medication– You can take painkillers such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or gels. These tablets and gels are easily accessible at pharmacies.
· Adjustments at work– At work, you can avoid getting shoulder pain by setting up your desk so it is at the correct height, so it doesn’t twist or strain your neck. This will help you hold your head up correctly, which will help with your posture. If your job involves speaking on the phone, try to avoid holding your receiver to your ear, as this uses your shoulder muscles. Instead, you can use a telephone headset. Take regular breaks from manual handling activities and use lifting equipment where possible.
· Medical Attention – If you have experienced shoulder pains for longer than 2 weeks, it is suggested that you seek medical advice from your G.P or physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy for Shoulder Pain
One of the most common treatment options for shoulder pain is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can be used for most types of pain, including upper body, back, neck and hip pain. They can provide lots of advice on shoulder pain causes and treatment methods.
Briganti Physiotherapy offers a range of treatments and modalities to aid in the recovery of shoulder pain. The majority of treatment recommended is based on education and the use exercise and strengthening to help relieve pain, although manual therapy, such as spinal manipulation and injection therapy is also offered.
Visit their website to find out more about shoulder pain causes and treatment options which may be offered to assist in the recovery of your shoulder pain.
Briganti Physiotherapy offers a range of treatments and modalities to manage, reduce and eliminate Shoulder pain. Briganti Physiotherapy uses a range of evidence based treatments and modalities to aid in your recovery. While we utilise manual therapy and injection therapy to help treat patients, the underpinning of our treatment is based on education and the use exercise and strengthening.
How Beacon Law Can Help You?
If you believe you developed shoulder pain from your duties at work or an accident at work, due to employer’s negligence of lack of training of health and safety procedures, you may be able to make a claim. Beacon Law provides an experienced team of solicitors and legal professionals. We provide a high level of service to all our clients and work to ensure you receive the highest level of accident work compensation for your injuries. Beacon Law is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.