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Shoulder Pain? Here’s What Could Be Causing It

Unless you’ve had a shoulder injury, you probably don’t think much about these powerful joints. Your shoulder joint is a complex mechanism. Your humerus (upper arm bone), clavicle (collarbone), and scapula (shoulder blade) come together. They are supported by your rotator cuff — a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that both provide stability and also facilitate your shoulder’s extensive range of motion. 

 

It’s all these moving parts and a wide range of motion that increase your vulnerability to painful injuries and degenerative conditions. Also, you move your shoulders much more than you realize, which contributes to wear-and-tear.

 

At Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, our team of orthopedic surgeons diagnoses and treats shoulder problems like labral tears and rotator cuff injuries. From joint injections to total shoulder arthroplasty, we offer expert orthopedic treatment for shoulder problems. 

Common causes of shoulder pain

Several injuries and issues contribute to shoulder pain. Some are due to daily wear-and-tear, while others are acute injuries that happen while you’re playing a sport or involved in an automobile accident.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can cause the cushioning cartilage of any joint to wear away. Without cartilage, the bones of your shoulder rub together, creating friction. This irritates your bones and the surrounding tissue, leading to swelling, pain, and stiffness. Eventually, the pain limits your range of motion, which can significantly affect your independence and quality of life.

Tendinitis and bursitis

Tendinitis and bursitis are inflammatory conditions that occur with overuse. Tendons are the connective tissues that attach your muscles to your bones, and bursae are the fluid-filled sacs that help your skin, muscles, and connective tissue glide over the bones of your joints smoothly. Both your tendons and bursa are vulnerable to overuse and inflammation, which can become quite painful and reduce your range of motion. 

Rotator cuff tears

Rotator cuff tears occur when the tendons and muscles of your rotator cuff pull or tear away from the bones. These injuries range in severity from mild to severe, depending on how much of the connective tissue and muscle has torn away. Rotator cuff injuries usually stem from the wear-and-tear of repetitive use, but you might not notice the problem until the weakness results in an acute injury. 

Labrum tears

Your labrum is the cup-shaped cartilage that lines the glenoid — socket — part of your shoulder joint. Your labrum can be weakened by repetitive use or osteoarthritis, although the injuries typically occur in a sports accident.

Dislocation

Shoulder dislocation or instability occurs when your humerus slips out of place. Dislocation can happen during an accident, or gradual degeneration can lead to the condition. Shoulder dislocations often become chronic because once the rotator cuff is stretched or damaged, it doesn’t provide the necessary support to keep your bones in the right place. 

Impingement

Shoulder impingement is a painful condition that occurs when the top of your shoulder blade puts too much pressure on the underlying soft tissue, which causes pain and reduces your range of motion. The condition also contributes to tendinitis and bursitis. 

Fractures 

You can break any of the bones in your shoulder. Shoulder fractures are most common during motor vehicle or sports accidents. They’re extremely painful and cause bruising and swelling that significantly reduce your range of motion. 

When to talk to a doctor about shoulder pain

If you have shoulder pain that is interfering with your range of motion or day to day life, give us a call or make an appointment online today. We offer comprehensive diagnosis and treatments for painful shoulder conditions to help you get back to a pain-free, active life.

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