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4 Common Types Of Shoulder Pain

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Shoulder pain makes life difficult, and many people struggle with this problem. Some conditions limit a person's range of motion and others can cause severe pain. If you would like to know more about shoulder pain, check out these four common types of shoulder pain and how you can treat them.

1. Cartilage Tear

Cartilage cushions joints so the bones don't rub against each other. Repetitive motions often cause cartilage tears, but a sudden impact can also cause the cartilage to tear. Cartilage tears in the shoulder present with pain in the shoulder, especially when you move your arm over your head. The shoulder may also feel weak.

Treatment begins with rest to give the shoulder time to heal. You'll also need physical therapy to regain range of motion and flexibility. If physical therapy doesn't work, you may need surgery.

2. Rotator Cuff Tear

Your rotator cuff, a collection of muscles, lets you lift your arm over your head. It also keeps the arm in the shoulder socket. Your rotator cuff can experience an acute tear and a degenerative tear. Sudden trauma causes an acute tear, but many factors contribute to degenerative tears.

Repetitive stress from repeated motions increases the risk of rotator cuff tear. As you age, however, your risk also increases because of bone spurs and reduced blood supply to the area. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain at rest, pain when lifting, weakness, and cracking. As with a cartilage tear, treatment for rotator cuff tears begins with rest and physical therapy, but if that fails, surgeons can repair the muscles.

3. Frozen Shoulder

A special capsule of connective tissue surrounds your shoulder tendons, bones, and ligaments. If injury or surgery prevents you from moving your shoulder, this connective tissue may thicken, making it hard to move your arm. At first, you may notice some loss in your range of motion and some pain. As the shoulder becomes stiffer, the pain usually subsides.

Some systematic diseases may increase the risk of frozen shoulder. These include diabetes, thyroid issues, cardiovascular disease, and Parkinson's disease. Treatment involves managing pain and regaining range of motion with physical therapy. Steroid injections and shoulder manipulation may help, but in rare cases, surgery is needed.

4. Arthritis

Arthritis comes in many forms, but all forms attack joints. With osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, your joints slowly deteriorate from extreme wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, causes your immune system to attack the protective lining of joints. Both forms present with stiffness, pain, and a limited range of motion.

Treatment usually involves exercises to strengthen the joints, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery may be needed to repair part of the joint or replace it.

Many issues cause shoulder pain, and many of them require physical therapy to regain range of motion. In rare cases, surgery may be needed. If you would like to know more, contact a provider in your area today.