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Ask the Experts
What most people call the shoulder is really several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion in the arm — from scratching your back to throwing the perfect pitch.
Mobility has its price, however. It may lead to increasing problems with instability or impingement of the soft tissue or bony structures in your shoulder, resulting in pain. You may feel pain only when you move your shoulder, or all of the time. The pain may be temporary or it may continue and require medical diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Shoulder pain
There are many causes of shoulder pain, and they all have their own unique set of symptoms:
- pain deep in the shoulder joint, in the back or the front of the shoulder and the upper part of the arm. Sometimes the pain in the shoulder can be described as a ‘catching pain’. The location and type of pain is likely to relate to the structure causing the pain
- reduced movement, and pain when moving your shoulder.
- weakness of the shoulder/upper arm. Depending on the condition, there may be a sensation of the joint slipping out and back in to the joint socket, or the shoulder can become completely dislodged (dislocated) Read More....
Causes & Effects
Shoulder pain can be divided into three major categories:
- Osteoarthritis: cartilage is a smooth, cushiony tissue that covers the ends of your bones where they meet in a joint. Healthy cartilage helps your joints move smoothly.
- problems with the joints and associated nerves of your neck and upper back can also be a source of shoulder pain
- Inflammation of the shoulder capsule: Synovitis is when your synovial membrane becomes inflamed. It can occur as a result of another condition (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) or it may happen as a result of an injury.
- Neck and upper back: problems with the joints and associated nerves of your neck and upper back can also be a source of shoulder pain
Shoulder Joint Treatments of Dr. Raviprakash
Rotator Cuff Surgery (Supraspinatus / infraspinatus / Subscapularis )
Shoulder instability Surgery (Bankart,Lesion,Hill-Sachs Lesion,Reverse Bankart)
The purpose behind the shoulder joint replacement surgery is to restore mobility and relieve chronic pain so you can go back to normal living:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Bone tumo.
- Post-traumatic arthritis.
- Avascular necrosis.
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy.
There are a number of ways for an orthopedic surgeon to diagnose the cause of shoulder pain. The most reliable and comprehensive method is through a physical examination of the joint. During this exam, an orthopaedic surgeon will take a detailed individual and family medical history and manipulate your shoulder to assess its range of motion, strength and resilience. If further inquiry is required following the physical examination, your physician will order any necessary diagnostic tests, such as x-ray studies, an MRI, a CT scan, or a diagnostic ultrasound.
Generally speaking, an orthopedic surgeon will try to treat shoulder pain non-surgically before proceeding with a surgical approach. Based on your individual and family medical history, physical examination and applicable diagnostic test results, a physician could recommend any number of non-surgical treatment options for your shoulder pain. These may include lifestyle changes, like activity modification and diet; medication; physical therapy; or other minimally-invasive treatments like orthobiologics or corticosteroid shots.
If your injury requires immediate intervention, or a more conservative approach has failed to address your shoulder pain, your surgeon may elect to proceed with a surgical procedure. Thanks to advances in the science and techniques of orthopaedic surgery, many procedures are now performed arthroscopically, which allow the surgeon to work in the joint through incisions much smaller than those required by traditional open techniques. Smaller incisions lead to faster recovery times and lower the chances of infection during your procedure. However, some procedures, like those required for traumatic injuries or total joint replacements, are still performed using open techniques.
If your osteoarthritis does not respond to conservative treatment, like physical therapy and medication, your surgeon may elect to proceed with surgical intervention, specifically a total or reverse shoulder replacement. Total shoulder replacements require your surgeon to replace the “ball and socket” components of the shoulder anatomy as they naturally occur (i.e., the “ball” at the head of the humerus and the glenoid “socket” are replaced with synthetic components). In reverse total shoulder replacements, these components are switched; the synthetic “ball” is rooted where the “socket” naturally occurs and the synthetic “socket” is placed at the head of the humerus. The health and stability of the rest of your shoulder will help determine which procedure your surgeon elects to move forward with.
There are many factors that affect the recovery process following shoulder replacement surgery. Age, occupation, health status, individual and family medical history, and the type of procedure performed all influence the recovery process. Generally speaking, a patient can expect to regain day-to-day functioning of the shoulder 3-4 weeks following surgery, with healing and improvements in strength and function continuing for up to a year. During this time, patients will work with their surgeon and physical therapist to ensure they maintain a healthy recovery program.
Self-care measures for an injured knee include:
Apply heat to your shoulder A mild hot shower can accomplish this on your shoulder for about 5 to 10 minutes. Often patients have shoulder pain from sleeping.
Apply ice to your shoulder. A cold pack inside a pillowcase for ten minutes can be significant.
Stretches Stretching the muscles that encompass the shoulder joint can help with your pain and possibly prevent future injury.
Salt Bath This is definitely “old school” but has some recent merit on television with Dr. Oz. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add Epsom salts.