Shoulder injuries are often caused by overuse and athletic injury with frequent problems arising from excessive and repetitive overhead motion and lifting. Injuries can occur during typical daily activities such as house cleaning, gardening or throwing a ball.
The anatomical structure of the shoulder consists of a ball, socket, and three main bones: the humerus, clavicle and scapula. These are known as the upper arm, collarbone and shoulder blade respectively.
The shoulder has the largest range of motion of any joint in the entire body. The range of mobility is a double-edged sword because it provides great range of motion to the arms, but is susceptible to minor and major injuries.
The common symptoms of a shoulder injury may include swelling, pain, stiffness, lack of mobility, tingly sensations, and weakness. Lesser-known symptoms of a shoulder injury include coldness, paleness, and the affected area turning a shade of blue.
If you experience any of the above symptoms it is important to see one of the orthopedic surgeons Phoenix AZ right away. If neglected, shoulder injuries can have lifelong consequences.
Causes of Shoulder Pain and Injury
An acute shoulder injury arises from sudden trauma to the shoulder causing damage. An acute injury typically occurs after a fall. Sports activities, accidents around the home, or motor vehicle accidents are common causes of acute shoulder injuries. Falling onto your outstretched hand while falling is a very common cause of shoulder pain and injury.
Acute shoulder injuries can damage muscles, bones, and ligaments. For example, a person taking a direct blow to the shoulder could experience a broken collar bone, AC separation, damage to one of the four shoulder tendons, or a contusion to the muscle. This is why getting a proper diagnosis to a shoulder injury is critical.
Aside from acute shoulder injuries, another common cause of pain and injury to the shoulder comes from overuse. Overuse injuries can cause symptoms to gradually occur over time or they may seemingly come from out of nowhere with severity.
Common injuries caused by overuse of the shoulder include bursitis, shoulder tendinitis (e.g. rotator cuff tendonitis, and muscle strain. Just like acute injuries, overuse injuries can affect one or all components of the shoulder.
Warning Signs of Shoulder Injury
If you experience pain in the shoulder area it is important to pay close attention to the following:
- Stiffness and ability to rotate
- Popping sensation
- Lack of strength or weakness
- Inability to carry out daily activities
- Feeling as though the shoulder may slide out of socket
If any of the above occurs, you should consult a Phoenix orthopedic surgeon for help in determining the severity of the problem. Treatment varies depending on the type of injury or degree of pain.