Are you finding yourself struggling a bit when doing everyday activities such as: stacking books on a shelf, or when lifting heavy groceries, or even brushing your hair? All of these are examples of shoulder problems and can really affect your daily life, not to mention those instances when the pain intensifies from annoying to agonizing.In order to fully understand shoulder pain and its causes we need to understand how the shoulder works. The shoulder is made up of three bones: upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The top of the upper arm bone goes into a round socket (glenoide) in the shoulder blade. Muscles and tendons keep the bone attached and placed properly in the socket, this contraption is referred to as the rotator cuff, and it’s responsible for the wide range of movement that your arm has. It is precisely this part of the shoulder’s anatomy that has the most problems, as one would expect from such a hard working and mobile joint.Most of the shoulder troubles and the resulting pain stem from the following 6 types of issues:
- Tendon issues such as inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or a tear. Tendon is the tissue that connects the muscle to the bone and various types inflammation tend to occur over time with lifetime of use. Most issues of this nature happen with the rotator cuff, the 4 muscles and tendons in and around the socket. Tears or splitting of the tendon also happen with age or sudden injury.
- Frozen Shoulder when the inner lining is inflamed becoming thick and tight thereby causing drastically decreased range of motion and pain. This is a long-lasting condition, anywhere from 1 year to 3 years in length.
- Shoulder Dislocation or Shoulder Joint Instability is when the top of the upper arm comes out of the socket, mostly happens as a result of a strenuous activity such as playing sports or suffering a fall.
- Arthritis is age-related and caused by everyday wear and tear and can be quite painful.
- Fracture, when any part of the shoulder bones is broken, very painful.
- Pinched nerves are also popular causes of shoulder pain, they cause sharp pain and originate in the spine. Unsurprisingly this too is associated with the aging process and is much more common later in life.