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Shoulder Pain – 10 Common Causes, Treatment and When To See The Doctor

Shoulder pain

The most common cause of shoulder pain is inflammation of the joint itself or of the muscles, ligaments, or tendons that surround it. When shoulder discomfort is due to the joint, activities, or movement of your arm or shoulder often makes it worse.

In addition to the disorders and diseases that affect the tissues in your chest or abdomen, you might experience shoulder pain if you have such conditions or diseases as heart disease or gallbladder disease. It is referred pain when shoulder pain develops from another structure, such as the scapula or clavicle. You rarely have a worsening of referred shoulder pain when you move your shoulder.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

A number of different contributing variables and illnesses may be involved in shoulder pain. Rotator cuff tendinitis is the most prevalent condition, characterized by swollen tendons. Impingement syndrome is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.

It sometimes indicates that you’ve suffered an injury to another area of your body, such as your neck or biceps. When pain originates elsewhere, it is known as referred pain. Movement normally doesn’t make the pain in your shoulder worse.

Shoulder pain can be caused by:

  1. Avascular necrosis
  2. Brachial plexus injury
  3. Broken collarbone
  4. Bursitis
  5. Dislocated shoulder
  6. Heart attack
  7. Impingement
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Rheumatoid arthritis
  10. Rotator cuff injury

Treatment of Shoulder Pain

A treatment plan will be determined on the basis of the extent and type of shoulder pain. Physical or occupational therapy, a sling, or shoulder immobilizer, or surgery are examples of different treatment possibilities.

NSAIDs or corticosteroids may also be prescribed by your doctor. An effective way to reduce inflammation is to use potent anti-inflammatory medications, like corticosteroids, that can be administered either orally or through injection.

Shoulder pain that is not considered severe can be addressed at home. You can assist relieve shoulder pain by icing the area for fifteen to twenty minutes three or four times a day for many days. To avoid causing frostbite and burning the skin, apply ice directly to the skin using an ice bag or cloth.

Staying still for many days with no activity is beneficial before beginning to use the shoulder again. One should avoid actions that can cause pain during this time. The best approach is to cut down on nonessential tasks.

In addition to over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, using topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory creams to relieve pain and inflammation, and compressing the sore area with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling, are also used at home.

When To See The Doctor

If you have a fever, are unable to move your shoulder, have persistent bruising, heat and discomfort around the joint, or have pain that persists after a few weeks of home treatment, you should see a doctor.

Call 911 right away if your shoulder pain is unexpected and not related to an injury. It could be an indication of a heart attack. Other symptoms of a heart attack are:

Also, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately if you injured your shoulder and are bleeding, swollen, or you can see exposed tissue.


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