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Orthopaedic Specialties

Common Shoulder InjuriesCommon Shoulder Injuries

Each year, nearly 8 million people see a doctor to address a shoulder problem, including strains and sprains of the upper arm and shoulder area. On average, more than half of these visits are for a rotator cuff problem.

Most frequently, shoulder injuries are caused as a result of athletic activities involving repetitive overhead motions, or overloading of the joint, such as pitching, weightlifting, swimming, and tennis. Aside from athletic activity, shoulder injuries can occur because of everyday activities like hanging curtains, reaching for something from an overhead shelf, and even gardening.

The Signs of a Shoulder Injury

In addition to pain, the following symptoms may indicate a potential shoulder injury:

  • Stiffness in the shoulder and the inability to fully rotate your arm to its normal positions
  • Feelings of possible shoulder dislocation, or feeling as though it could pop out of its socket
  • A lack of strength when carrying out daily activities

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with your orthopaedic surgeon to help assess the severity of your problem, and the appropriate course of action to take.

Common Shoulder Injuries

The majority of shoulder injuries involve muscles, ligaments, and tendons as opposed to the bones making up the joint – primarily due to overuse and intensive training. Some who experience shoulder problems try to ignore it in hopes that it will go away on its own, and continue doing the activities that caused the injury in the first place. Others who experience shoulder problems over long periods of time tend to underestimate its severity because the pain becomes second nature.

Shoulder injuries fall into one of two categories:

Instability – When a shoulder joint is forced out of its normal position, it is called instability. An instability injury can result in dislocation and most who experience this type of injury experience pain when raising their arm or may feel as though their shoulder cannot hold itself in place.

Impingement – A shoulder impingement injury is caused by excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the upper part of the shoulder blade, named the acromion. Impingement injuries are most often caused by activities that require repetitive overhead arm motions, and you should seek medical help if you’re experiencing an impingement injury, as the inflammation can eventually lead to more serious injuries.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is one of the most critical parts of the shoulder joint and is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones in the joint together. It is the rotator cuff that is responsible for giving you the ability to raise your arm above your head. Fortunately, rotator cuff tears are repaired arthroscopically with a high success rate of recovery.

Treatment of Shoulder Injuries

Seeking treatment at the first sign of a shoulder injury is critical to making a full and quick recovery, and often, your orthopaedic surgeon will create a plan of various exercises aimed at strengthening your shoulder muscles combined with anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling. Surgical solutions are only considered when all other means have proven to be ineffective.

If you’ve been experiencing shoulder pain, our team of Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons will ensure that you get the care you need so that you can get back to your daily routine as quickly as possible. Request an appointment online, or contact us today at 904-825-0540.