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Suffering with Shoulder Pain?

Feb 05, 2023
Are you tired of living with shoulder pain? Find out what might be causing your pain and learn more about why we are leaders in uncovering the root cause. You deserve a solution and we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder pain.

Why is my shoulder pain so disabling?

Shoulder pain can often be debilitating because the shoulder joint is involved in a variety of everyday activities, such as reaching, lifting, and twisting. When the shoulder hurts, it can affect one's ability to perform even simple tasks and can cause a lot of discomfort and reduced range of motion. Additionally, the shoulder is a complex joint that relies on a delicate balance of muscles, tendons, and ligaments to function properly, so an injury or condition affecting any of these structures can quickly result in significant pain. In some cases, the pain can also be referred from other parts of the body, such as the neck, making it even more intense.

Why is it so important to diagnose the shoulder for proper treatment of the pain?

  1. Targeted treatment: Accurate diagnosis allows for the development of a targeted treatment plan. Different conditions affecting the shoulder require different treatments, and treating the wrong condition will not provide relief.
  2. Avoiding unnecessary treatments: An accurate diagnosis can help avoid unnecessary treatments or procedures, which can not only be time-consuming and expensive but can also have risks and side effects.
  3. Preventing further damage: Understanding the cause of shoulder pain can help prevent further damage to the joint and surrounding structures. Some conditions, if left untreated, can lead to long-term joint problems or even permanent damage.
  4. Improved prognosis: Accurate diagnosis can improve the prognosis for recovery, as prompt and appropriate treatment can lead to a better outcome.

Diagnosing the shoulder is a crucial step in treating shoulder pain and achieving a successful outcome.

Common shoulder pain conditions

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is a condition in which there is pressure or pinching of soft tissue in the shoulder, such as tendons or bursae (small fluid-filled sacs), against bony structures. This can occur when the tendons and bursae are compressed or pinched as they pass through a narrow space between the bones in the shoulder, known as the subacromial space. Shoulder impingement can result in pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion in the shoulder. It is often caused by repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing a ball or reaching overhead but can also be due to conditions such as rotator cuff tear, bursitis, or arthritis.

Frozen Shoulder Syndrome  (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Frozen shoulder syndrome, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by pain and loss of motion in the shoulder. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to result from the thickening and shrinkage (contracture) of the joint capsule, a soft tissue structure that surrounds the shoulder joint. The reduced flexibility of the joint capsule leads to pain and stiffness in the shoulder, making it difficult to move the arm.

Frozen shoulder typically develops gradually over several months and can last for several years, often improving slowly over time. Risk factors include age (usually over 40), diabetes, stroke, and shoulder injury or surgery.

Labrum issues 

The labrum is a rim of fibrocartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint and helps to deepen and stabilize the joint. Common labrum issues of the shoulder include:

  1. Labral tear: This is a tear in the labrum that can occur from injury, overuse, or degeneration. Symptoms can include pain, clicking or popping in the shoulder, and a sense of instability.
  2. SLAP tear: SLAP stands for "Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior." It is a specific type of labral tear that occurs in the front top part of the labrum. It can result from repetitive overhead motions or a traumatic injury.
  3. Bankart lesion: This is a tear in the front part of the labrum and the adjacent capsule, often caused by a dislocation or subluxation of the shoulder.
  4. Posterior labral tear: This is a tear in the back part of the labrum, which can be caused by overuse or a traumatic injury.

Diagnosis of labrum issues is typically done through a combination of physical examination, imaging tests (such as ultrasound or MRI), and sometimes, arthroscopy (a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to visualize the inside of the joint).

Repetitive injury of the shoulder: Tendonitis & bursitis

Repetitive injury of the shoulder refers to damage to the shoulder caused by repeated, similar movements or motions over time. This type of injury can occur in individuals who engage in repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing a ball or lifting weights, or in those who perform the same motions repeatedly at work, such as assembly line workers.

Repetitive injury of the shoulder can lead to inflammation, pain, and weakness in the shoulder. Over time, it can also result in the development of conditions such as rotator cuff tear, tendinitis, bursitis, or shoulder impingement.  It is important to address repetitive injury of the shoulder early to prevent progression and long-term damage to the joint.

Bone Spurs

Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are small bony projections that develop along the edges of bones. In the shoulder, bone spurs can develop on the bones that make up the joint, such as the humerus (upper arm bone) or the scapula (shoulder blade).

Bone spurs in the shoulder can occur as a result of natural aging or wear and tear, or due to underlying conditions such as arthritis or rotator cuff tear. They can also develop in response to repetitive stress or injury. In some cases, bone spurs can cause pain and discomfort by rubbing against other structures in the shoulder joint or by affecting the normal functioning of the joint.

Diagnosis of shoulder bone spurs is typically done through imaging tests such as X-rays, Ultrasound, or MRI.

We are here to help!

Are you tired of living with shoulder pain? At Mint Medical Center in Oakland, California, we are leaders in the field of shoulder pain treatment and we can help you transform your life.  Discover what might be the root cause and how we can help you live a better life free of discomfort. At our facility, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder-related issues. Our team of experts use the latest technology and innovative approaches to determine the root cause of your pain and provide customized solutions for lasting relief. Don't let shoulder pain hold you back any longer. Schedule a consultation with us today and experience the difference our expertise and care can make. Let us help you say goodbye to shoulder pain and hello to a life of comfort and freedom.