The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describe the shoulder as several joints that combine with the muscles and the tendons to provide a large range of motion in the arm. Many shoulder problems are caused by the deterioration of soft tissues in the shoulder region. Too much repeated usage of the shoulder from manual labor or playing sports can cause the soft tissue to quickly break down. The most common shoulder problems according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases are:
Dislocation can happen if the shoulder is twisted or pulled extremely hard. It occurs when the ball at the top of the bone in the upper arm pops out of the socket.
Shoulder separation is most often caused by a knock to the shoulder or by falling on an outstretched hand. It occurs when the ligaments between the collarbone and the shoulder blade are torn.
Rotator Cuff Tear:
Aging can cause tendons to wear down, which can lead to a tear or tendons can become inflamed from frequent use. Sometimes they are injured from a fall on an outstretched hand. Sports or jobs with repeated overhead motion can also damage the rotator cuff.
Diagnosing Shoulder Problems
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that Doctors can diagnose shoulder problems by using:
Such as X rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Your medical history can be a valuable tool in finding the source of your pain. Your doctor may ask how and when the pain started, whether it has happened before and how it was previously treated. Other questions to help decide your overall health and the possible causes of your shoulder problem.
A complete examination will be required to find the causes of your shoulder pain. Your doctor will look for physical abnormalities, swelling, deformity or muscle weakness, and check for tender areas. He or she will also observe your shoulder range of motion and strength.
In the case of a serious injury causing severe pain, seek medical help as soon as possible. If the pain is less severe, it may be safe to rest a few days and perform RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) to see if time will heal the problem. If symptoms continue, see a doctor immediately. That way your doctor can order specific tests to help identify the cause of your pain and any other problems.