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Pain&Mobility Clinic

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

05/31/2019 by Zahid Zaman

The shoulder pain can be caused by damage to one or more of the components of the shoulder—the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments that comprise the joint. This damage can be caused by disease, chronic overuse, or acute injury, so shoulder pain can appear immediately or progress gradually over time. Common injuries we see at Pain & Mobility Clinic, Birmingham include:

Shoulder Dislocation: Your shoulder is pulled back too hard or rotated too far, the top of your arm might pop out of its socket. You will feel pain and weakness in your shoulder. You may also have swelling, numbness and bruising.

Shoulder Instability: Instability is a problem that causes a loose joint. Instability can be caused by a traumatic injury (dislocation) or from overuse. Shoulders that feel unstable may feel as though they will pop out of joint.

Shoulder Separation: This injury affects the joint where your collarbone and shoulder blade come together. It’s called the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. As a result of fall or hard blow tears the ligaments holding it together.

Shoulder Fracture: A bone can break or crack if you fall or take a hard hit. The most common breaks are to the clavicle (collarbone) and the humerus (arm bone closest to your shoulder).

Cartilage tear: You injure the cartilage (the rubbery padding) that goes around the rim of your shoulder joint. It can happen after doing the same motion over and over, a fall, or anytime your shoulder absorbs a lot of force.

Bicep Tendonitis: Bicep tendonitis usually develops gradual pain at the front of the shoulder that moves down over the biceps muscle. The pain is often worse with repetitive lifting, carrying heavy bags, or overhead activities.

Bicep Tendon Rupture: More seriously, a bicep tendon rupture may occur, which means that the bicep muscle breaks free near the joint.

SLAP Tears: A superior labrum anterior posterior tear, more commonly referred to as a SLAP tear, is a specific type of glenoid labrum (shoulder joint) tear. The most common cause is a fall on an outstretched hand, athletes who throw overhead (for example, baseball pitchers) or workers involved in repetitive overhead activities.

Rotator cuff tear: Your rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons in your shoulder that hold your arm in place and let you lift your arm up overhead. You can damage it through overuse, a fall or wear and tear as you age.

Frozen shoulder: Bands of tissue (adhesions) build up in the joint and keep your shoulder from moving freely. Your shoulder might “freeze” because pain or surgery have made you use it less, allowing the adhesions to build up.

Shoulder Impingement: This happens when the tendons of the rotator cuff get pinched in the bones of the shoulder.

Bursitis: The bursa (a fluid-filled sac that cushions in your joint) can get swollen and irritated if you repeat the same motions repeatedly, a fall or another injury.

Osteoarthritis: Also called degenerative joint disease, this is the most common form of arthritis. It can affect any joint, including your shoulders.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack the protective lining in your joints. It can also cause pain and stiffness in your shoulders.

When to See a Doctor

If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention. Some signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:

– Inability to carry objects or use the arm
– An injury that causes deformity of the joint
– Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while resting
– Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
– Inability to raise the arm
– Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
– Signs of an infection, including fever, skin redness and warmth
– Any other unusual symptoms associated with the shoulder pain like abdominal pain or trouble breathing

Pain & Mobility

Posture plays an important part when dealing with pain. When your posture becomes misaligned, that is the major load-bearing joints (i.e. ankles, knees, hips, shoulders) do not line up horizontally and vertically. Where the ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and head aren’t stacked symmetrically on top of one another, and not balanced left to right and front to back. You will experience pain.

With this understanding the focus shifts from the symptoms (i.e. the pain) to the root cause, the structural integrity of the body. These symptoms, if not addressed, will continue to amplify and can affect muscles, joints and the nervous system.

Muscles will become imbalanced and cause muscle tightness in your chest and shoulders and muscle weakness across your upper back. This is what gives you the rounded shoulders. In more extreme cases where the structure is seriously misaligned you will develop a kyphotic spine, where your head and neck will extend to far forward. Your rib cage will drop, crushing your internal organs like your lungs, heart and stomach, causing digestive and breathing issues.

Your joints will become tight, restricted and impinge resulting in lack of mobility and abnormal wear and tear. The nervous system will be affected too. Common symptoms clients report are headaches, eye strain, brain fog, breathing difficulty just to name a few.

All these symptoms can be reversed when you start addressing the root cause, the structure. When the structure realigns, muscle imbalances disappear, joints aren’t under so much strain or pressure, the body’s weight distribution returns to 50/50 across all weight bearing joints. The pulling of the nerves in the head reduce clearing up headaches, eye strain, brain fog etc.

If you are experiencing pain and want help to remove it, then visit our Pain & Mobility Clinic in Birmingham. For the most effective solution in helping you move pain-free.

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