Most Common Shoulder Injuries and Treatments

The shoulder is a very complex and important joint in the body. It is responsible for a wide range of motions, including lifting your arm over your head. Because it is used so often, it is susceptible to injury. For some, even everyday tasks like getting dressed can be problematic because of shoulder problems. But what are the most common shoulder injuries?

Dislocation

A dislocation occurs when the head of a bone (the humerus, in this case) moves out of its normal position in the shoulder joint. This can cause intense pain and swelling, as well as a loss of mobility in the arm. Treatment ranges from manual manipulation to surgery, depending on the severity of the dislocation.

With serious dislocations, surgery may be necessary to repair the joint. This usually involves stitching the muscles and ligaments back into place, as well as replacing any damaged or torn cartilage.

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is a common injury for athletes, particularly those who engage in contact sports like rugby and hockey. A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that control the shoulder’s range of motion. When these become torn or strained, they can cause pain and difficulty moving the arm.

Treatment for rotator cuff tears depends on severity. For minor tears, physical therapy may be enough to restore movement in the joint. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. This typically involves reattaching the muscles and ligaments to the shoulder joint with sutures or anchors, as well as replacing any damaged cartilage. After surgery, physical therapy can help patients regain a full range of motion in their shoulders.

Frozen Shoulder Syndrome

Advanced services like VBJS will also see people with frozen shoulder syndrome, which is characterized by a stiff, painful joint that can make it difficult to move the arm. This condition is caused by inflammation and scarring of the shoulder capsule, which limits the ability of tendons and ligaments to glide freely.

Treatment for frozen shoulder syndrome typically involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), steroid injections, physical therapy, and stretching exercises. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend shoulder manipulation under anesthesia or manipulation-assisted surgery to help break up scar tissue and improve the range of motion.

Fracture

Sadly, a fracture of the collarbone (clavicle) is another common shoulder injury. This type of fracture is usually caused by a fall onto the shoulder or an outstretched arm. Symptoms include pain, bruising, and swelling around the clavicle area, as well as limited movement in the arm. Treatment involves immobilizing the shoulder with a sling until it has healed, along with pain medications and possible surgery to repair any major breaks.

Impingement

Next, impingement is a common shoulder injury caused by inflammation in the rotator cuff tendons. This condition is usually caused by repetitive overhead activities and leads to pain, tenderness, and decreased range of motion. Treatment typically starts with rest from aggravating activities, icing the shoulder, physical therapy exercises to improve strength and flexibility, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Bursitis

Lastly, bursitis of the shoulder is the inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that cushions and protects the rotator cuff tendons. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and warmth in the shoulder area. Treatment usually involves rest from aggravating activities, icing, physical therapy exercises to improve strength and flexibility, anti-inflammatory medications, and possibly steroid injections. Unfortunately, surgery may be required in some cases.

In conclusion, shoulder injuries can vary greatly in severity and treatment options. It is important to seek professional medical advice if you experience shoulder pain or any of the symptoms discussed above. With proper diagnosis, treatment, rest, and rehabilitation exercises, most shoulder injuries can heal in time.

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