Shoulder pain can have many different causes, but sometimes it seems to occur out of thin air. If you cannot think of anything that may have caused your shoulder pain (or even if you can), an orthopedic doctor can examine your shoulder and possibly order tests to determine the issue.
Once the root cause of your shoulder pain is diagnosed, the physician can recommend treatment to relieve the discomfort. Let’s talk about some of the main reasons why people develop pain in the shoulder even though they didn’t experience an outward injury.
Reasons for Shoulder Pain
Some of the most common causes of inexplicable shoulder pain include the following:
Shoulder osteoarthritis, also simply called shoulder arthritis, is a wearing-down of the cartilage that protects the humeral head, glenoid capsule, and acromioclavicular shoulder joint during movement. Arthritis develops as a result of wear-and-tear which accelerates the degeneration of the soft tissue.
Shoulder arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion of the arm. The cartilage covering the shoulder bones begins to tear and flake, slowly enabling bone-on-bone rubbing which causes arthritis.
Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a result of a thickening of the shoulder capsule – which is a layer of protective tissue that lines the shoulder joint. The thickening tissue causes pain, especially when trying to move the shoulder. It is common in patients who have had to place their arm in a brace or sling during recovery from an injury or surgery.
Rotator Cuff Pain
A rotator cuff injury affects the shoulder capsule, shoulder muscles, and tendons – which together comprise the rotator cuff. This injury is usually caused by overuse, as tiny tears develop in the rotator cuff. People with occupations that require them to perform repetitive arm motions are susceptible to rotator cuff injuries.
The pain is often described as dull and bothersome, and it can interfere with sleep. If left untreated, a rotator cuff injury can accelerate the degeneration of the shoulder joint and may lead to arthritis.
Expert Orthopedic Care in Westlake and Avon, OH
It’s almost impossible for someone with no medical training to properly diagnose the cause of shoulder pain, since almost all shoulder conditions have similar symptoms. Orthopedic doctors have years of training and the knowledge of which scans should be performed in order to make an accurate assessment – and therefore a specific diagnosis and precise treatment that will work. Orthopedic treatments run the gamut from noninvasive treatment, such as physical therapy or medication, to joint replacement surgery.
Here at Orthopaedic Associates, we have physicians who specialize in everything from sports medicine to spine conditions, and from upper extremities to lower extremities. We can quickly and efficiently diagnose your shoulder pain and get you on the road to wellness – so you can get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy.
If you have any questions about our services or if you wish to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (440) 892-1440 or by filling out our simple online form. We look forward to seeing you!