Shoulder injuries are common in sports
and vehicular accidents as well. Most shoulder injuries do not
involve the bones that make up the shoulder, but rather the muscles,
tendons and ligaments.
Shoulder injuries can be caused by tendonitis
/ bursitis, injury / instability, arthritis and in some rare cases
tumors, infection, and nerve-related problems.
Tendons are the tissue that connect muscles to bones. With tendonitis,
there is a wearing process that happens over time from excessive,
repetitive use, disease or sudden injury. Rotator cuff injuries
are the most common of these types of disorders and can occur
in athletes as well as non-athletes in accident-injury situations
as well. Many times a person can have a partially torn rotator
cuff and not know it. They can be involved in an accident where
the rotator cuff is torn more severely and renders the shoulder
in need of corrective surgery.
The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that covers and protects joints
from friction from the movement of the shoulder. Bursitis is the
inflammation of this sac and surrounding tissue and often coincides
Shoulder instability can be caused by an injury or can occur
over time. Instability can be caused by a sudden blow causing
a partial or complete dislocation of the shoulder from the socket.
A dislocated shoulder needs to be stabilized then treated by appropriate
medical personnel experienced in diagnosing and treating shoulder
problems. A shoulder separation can also occur in sports or by
accident and is often associated with an injury to the acromioclavicular
joint (AC). A labral tear can also occur due to dislocation of
Arthritis can also be the cause of intense shoulder pain. Besides
long-term wear and tear and inflammation, arthritis can also be
related to sports or work injuries. While arthritis in the shoulder
is not as common as it is in the knee or hip area, it can be quite
painful and involve joint replacement therapy.
Shoulder Injury Indicators
- Inability to raise arm or carry objects
- Deformity of joint caused by injury
- Pain while sleeping or resting
- Pain lasts more than several days
- Swelling or bruising around joint
- Fever, redness, warmth or other signs of infection
If any of the above shoulder injury indicators are experienced
then a medical examination is in order. Don't delay as early treatment
will yield the most adequate results.
For those with minor shoulder injuries, some common treatments
include rest, ice and heat application, stretching and anti-inflammatory
medication. For those with moderate injuries physical therapy
and cortisone injections may be needed. For the most severe shoulder
injury, reparative surgery will be needed.
The most important aspect of shoulder injuries, though is early
detection and treatment. By seeking medical treatment early many
complications may be avoided later.