Did you know that the shoulder is made up of multiple tendons and muscles that work together to allow a wide range of motion for your arm? Thanks to these muscles and tendons, you can easily scratch your back or throw a ball, but all that can easily change when someone experiences shoulder pain. Pain can come from everything from a serious tear to just sleeping on it the wrong way, either way shoulder pain can be a substantial nuisance in day to day life.
If you’re currently experiencing discomfort but not sure why, or you’re looking for ways to avoid the common causes of shoulder pain, here are some things to look out for:
- Tendinitis – When the tendon, which is what connects a muscle to a bone, becomes inflamed, it is referred to as Tendinitis. There are two types of this condition, acute and chronic. Acute Tendinitis can be caused by overuse of the arm or shoulder through activities such as throwing a ball, or consistently lifting heavy items over your head. Chronic Tendinitis can be caused by arthritis or heavy wear and tear because of age.
- Tears in rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain – Chances are you’ve probably heard about an athlete who has torn their rotator cuff and needs immediate surgery that involves serious physical therapy post-op. Not all tears in this shoulder muscle result in surgery, but tearing this part of your shoulder can be an obvious reason for your shoulder pain. If the pain is bearable, then you could have a small tear, which only requires some rest and applying some ice and heat to the area periodically. If your pain is severe, and you’re unable to put your shirt on, lightly toss a ball, or even just lift your arm to wash your hair, contact a physical therapist immediately to begin addressing the issue.
- Osteoarthritis – Also known as Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis is a condition that can develop over time from consistent wear and tear the shoulder, causing lingering shoulder pain. What happens is the flexible but strong cartilage that’s meant to be a buffer between bones, begins to diminish. As a result, the bones that are now rubbing against each other cause swelling and shoulder pain that can greatly hinder an individual’s range of motion in their arm. Many people with this condition achieve relief by rest, avoiding activities they know will flare up pain, and attending physical therapy appointments.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, sporadically or ongoing, please make an appointment at one of our offices in Union, Woodbridge or Union, NJ. One of our experienced certified physical therapists at Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation will work with you to develop the best treatment options for your specific needs.