Buyer Guide

4 Common Shoulder Conditions or Injuries (How to Treat)

Learn about the common shoulder conditions, their further sub-types, and their symptoms.

Starting with the most common:

What is Shoulder Arthritis? 

Basically, the shoulder consists of two joints. The bigger joint is the glenohumeral that connects the humerus and the scapula bone. When this joint starts to get damaged, it’s called arthritis in the shoulders. 

The second joint is AC joint or glenohumeral, and can also develop arthritis, and this type is called AC joint arthritis. This is common in weight lifters, and can even require surgical operation. 

Shoulder arthritis is further categorized as one that happens in old age, due to chronicle disease, or due to normal wear and tear. But, we’re not getting all into that. 

Now let’s discuss the symptoms of shoulder arthritis. 

The most common and prominent symptom is…the pain, which gradually gets worse as you perform your day-to-day activities. 

  • You may feel an ache deep pain in the back of the shoulder, on top of the shoulder, or even in the whole shoulder if the situation worsens, or because you may have both AC & glenohumeral joint arthritis. The pain can be during the activities or at the night times.
  • The second symptom is the limited motion. 

Here is the best exercise for shoulder arthritis if you happen to have shoulder arthritis.

Shoulder Pull Injury

This type of shoulder injury is mostly common in sports. For example, football shoulder injuries, baseball injuries, shoulder injuries while throwing, or in athletes in general. 

Our human body joints are really fragile, and when players somehow collapse during the game, throw a ball, or fall real-bad, their body bears the impact. And the shoulder joint is the most common that gets wear & tears in the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. The results can be a terrible pain, or complete movement blocking of the shoulder.

Shoulder pull injury due to sports can include shoulder dislocation, separation, instability, slap tears, or rotator cuff injuries. 

Normal shoulder pull can be easily treated at home by resting, placing ice over the shoulders, or using anti-inflammatory drugs. But, if that does not help, then the Orthopedic shoulder specialist will examine the patient through tests like MRI scan, or X-ray, and treat the patient with surgery, medication, or recommend shoulder braces.

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff is basically the group of tendons, ligaments, and muscles that keep the ball and socket shoulder joint in place. Rotator cuff injury causes dull ache in the shoulder, and the pain gets even worse with the continuous use of the shoulder.

Here are some of the main symptoms of rotator cuff injury:

  • Arm weakness
  • Difficulty in doing overhead shoulder movements, for example, combing your hair.
  • Dull ache in the shoulder
  • Disturbance in sleep

Rotator cuff injury can be a result of severe injury in the shoulder, for example, due to a car accident. Or, this disease can happen due to the wear & tears in the shoulder muscles, ligaments, or tendons by continuous repetition of overhead shoulder movements for years.

Here are the most common risk factors of rotator cuff injury:

  • Job: Yes, construction jobs, painters, or carpenters continuously perform far-reaching over the head shoulder movements that can cause tears in the shoulder muscles or tendons.
  • Age: Aging is one of the most common risks. People over 60 are more likely to develop rotator cuff injuries because of overuse of the shoulder joint for all those long years.
  • Genes: Rotator cuff injury can also be a family history. Therefore certain families tend to have more commonly rotator cuff disease.

The best exercise for rotator cuff injury is rest. Then comes performing certain shoulder exercises (discussed above) to mobilize the shoulder movement. The shoulder braces for rotator cuff injuries can also aid a lot in improving its condition.

The best way to prevent shoulder rotator cuff injury is to perform all the shoulder exercises regularly. You cannot just perform exercises like push-ups to only strengthen the chest & front of shoulder. Back side of the shoulders is also equally important, so do exercise for that as well. Your therapist will recommend the best exercises depending upon your level of injury.

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability is the most common injury in athletes, or sports players. This occurs due to collapsing of two players, throwing, or performing propulsive movements with shoulders & arms over the years. 

In the shoulder instability injury, the head of the upper arm bone (the humerus) pops out of the socket (the scapula), either completely or partially. The patient feels severe pain in the joint.

There are further types of shoulder instabilities:

  • Shoulder Dislocation: It occurs when the head of the humerus pops out of the scapula completely. It may come back to its place on its own or by medical treatment.
  • Shoulder Subluxation: It occurs when the head of the humerus partially comes out of the scapula, and quickly regains its place, or may need medical assistance to put back it in the socket.
  • Labral Tear: This can occur after the dislocation of the shoulder, or due to continuous propulsive movement, for example, throwing. In the Labral tear injury, the labrum is either torn or peeled off. 
  • Genetic Disease: Yes, shoulder instability can also occur due to the genetic condition. In this situation, the patient tends to have weak shoulder joints, and get shoulder instability or weakness.

After shoulder instability, the first thing you need to do is rest. Then, wear shoulder braces a couple of days, and then gradually start shoulder exercises to mobilize the shoulder movements. Resting for too long can also cause frozen shoulder injury. 

The worst case is the surgical operation.

Mark Patinson

January 15, 2021