The shoulder is likely the most active joint in our body. Its range of motion allows us to lift, carry, and raise items throughout our life. The advantage of the shoulder is it can turn in so many directions; however, this causes the distinct disadvantage of making the shoulder easily accessible to injury. Because of the vulnerability the shoulder has to injury, nearly six million people per year visit the doctor's office complaining of shoulder pain.
Shoulder injuries are most often caused by sports activities that involve repetitive motion like swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. But, they can just as easily be caused by everyday activities like washing walls, hanging curtains, and gardening. Signs of serious shoulder injury can include stiffness in the joint and inability to rotate your arm to all positions. You may also feel like your shoulder can slide out of socket or "pop out" and experience a general lack of strength in the shoulder.
Most shoulder problems involve muscles, ligaments, and tendons rather than an actual bone. These strains may not seem as serious as a broken bone but they require at least as much rehabilitation and treatment. Arthritis of the shoulder and dislocations are other common causes of shoulder pain. Shoulder injuries often become worse because patients ignore the pain and continue their normal activity, which only aggravates the condition. Most people underestimate the extent of a shoulder injury because dull pain, weakness in the arm, or limited motion simply becomes second nature to them.
If you have any signs of shoulder injury the best practice is to have the problem evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon. Injuries that are detected early enough have a variety of extremely successful treatment options including exercises to strengthen the muscles and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling. Medical Park Orthopaedic Clinic staff and physicians work with the patients to explore all options to regain full mobility. Chronic shoulder problems may result in choosing to use arthroscopic surgery to repair shoulder damage or a joint replacement might be recommended.