Your shoulders are probably one of those parts of your body that you don’t bother about much until shoulder pain happens to knock your senses down. In fact, when you see people write about common shoulder pain, you cannot even imagine how painful it could be. It can restrict you from doing even simple tasks such as moving your hands for brushing or cleaning your hair or fetching something overhead.
Shoulder pain and other issues related to shoulder are quite common. And, needless to mention, these tend to increase with age. Moreover, the nature of shoulder pain is unpredictable. It can either pop-up suddenly and abruptly or gradually. The intensity of the pain is likely to range somewhere between mild to intolerable. At SRL Diagnostics, we feel that regardless of the intensity of your shoulder pain, seeking medical advice is imperative.
Symptoms of Shoulder Pain
There is no particular symptom that defines shoulder pain. The symptoms of shoulder pain can be different for different people. For some people, the pain could be dull, while for others, it could be sudden and severe. In some cases, doing certain types of activities triggers the pain to a great extent. In some people, shoulder pain at night could be nightmarish.
So, what are the probable reasons behind shoulder pain? This content touches upon the causes behind the same, and the available treatment options.
What is causing my shoulder pain?
If you are wondering what is causing your shoulder pain, these could be the possible reasons. Let’s explore in detail!
There could be many factors or health conditions contributing to shoulder pain. However, one of the most common causes could be rotator cuff tendinitis or tendonitis. It is a condition that impacts your muscles and tendons that are responsible for the movement of your shoulder joint.
Impingement syndrome or shoulder impingement is another major cause of pain in your shoulders. It is caused when a tendon rubs on your shoulder blade due to an impact.
There are certain situations where injury in any other part of your body, basically your biceps, arms or neck leads to shoulder pain. Such pain is termed as referred pain. However, a referred pain is much more manageable from pains due to direct injury to your shoulders.
Sometimes, people experience shoulder pain at night because of sleeping disorders.
Besides these, other causes behind shoulder pain are likely to be the following:
- A torn rotator cuff or cartilage
- Swollen tendons
- Swollen bursa sacs
- Spurs on the shoulders
- A broken or fractured arm bone or shoulder
- A pinched nerve
- A dislocated shoulder
- Frozen shoulder
- Gastric problems
- Injury in the spinal cord
- Heart problems
- Heart attack
How should a shoulder pain diagnosis be done?
If, how should I sleep with shoulder pain is what you are concerned about, shoulder pain diagnosis is a must. You need to see a qualified medical professional for this.
A doctor will ask for your medical history and perform a physical examination to find out whether or not there is swelling or tenderness of bones.
They might ask you questions like:
- Do you feel pain in one shoulder or both?
- Is it sudden, or comes on gradually?
- Is the pain faint or sharp, etc.
Asking these questions will help them treat you properly.
They will also examine joint stability and extent of motion. Apart from physical examination, they are likely to perform imaging tests like MRI or X-Ray, as and when needed, to get a better insight into your pain and diagnose your condition in a better way.
How do I get my shoulder to stop hurting?
You can perform easy shoulder exercises to strengthen your muscles and tendons. However, it’s wise to seek help from a professional physiotherapist. If you try your DIY skills here, you can aggravate the problem even more.
If you have had issues with your shoulder in the past, then you can apply ice on the affected area after exercising. It will help you prevent injuries in the future.
When to see a doctor?
Here are some ‘when to see a doctor‘ scenarios given as under:
- If you are unable to move your shoulders
- If you have a fever
- If you are experiencing tenderness and heat around your shoulder joint
- If you have trouble breathing
- If you experience pain in your jaw or neck
- If you feel drowsy and your chest feels light
- If you sweat excessively
What are the treatment options?
The treatment for shoulder pain largely depends on the reason and intensity of the pain. Occupational or physical therapy is one of the most common treatments. It includes using a sling that immobilizes your shoulder or surgery if nothing else works.
NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory medications) or corticosteroids are also prescribed to some patients for pain management.
If you have been suffering from shoulder pain and your doctor has prescribed lab tests, SRL Diagnostics has for you a range of pocket-friendly healthcare packages that you can choose according to your needs and budget.