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An injury or disease of the shoulder joint can cause shoulder problems. The ligaments or tendons adjoining the shoulder joint can be affected by the injury. The cartilage, menisci and bones of the joint also gets affected due to any injury or disease. The shoulder joint is an extremely mobile joint, due to which it is very much exposed to any injury. The shoulder joint is designed to sacrifice its stability for mobility.
The shoulder joint is composed of three bones:
• the clavicle (collarbone)
• the scapula (shoulder blade)
• the humerus (upper arm bone)
The ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it, which can cause the shoulder to become unstable. The shoulder must be secured by muscles, tendons and ligaments to maintain them in a stable or normal position. Because the shoulder can become unbalanced many common problems can happen including sprains, strains, dislocations, separations, tendinitis, bursitis, torn rotator cuffs, frozen shoulder, fractures and arthritis.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
The collapsing of soft tissues in the shoulder region can result in shoulder pain. Consuming the shoulder too much can cause the soft tissue to break down faster as people get older. Doing physical work and playing sports may cause shoulder problems.
The common reasons of shoulder pain are:-
• Calcific Bursitis
• Dislocated Shoulder
• Heart Attack
• Lung Cancer
• Muscle Pain (Myofascial Pain Syndrome)
• Neck Pain
• Rotator Cuff Disease
• Shoulder Bursitis
Shoulder pain can also be caused by diseases such as:
• Gallbladder disease
• Liver disease
• Heart disease
• Disease of the spine in the neck.
Symptoms of Shoulder Problems
The following are symptoms people with shoulder problems usually report:-
• Pain - Pain is a common symptom for almost all shoulder problems. Most middle aged people who have pain have problems with their rotator cuff. The pain is often a dull aching pain, which is worsened with activity. Sleeping on the shoulder at night is another position that causes pain in people with rotator cuff problems.
• Weakness – Weakness is another common problem for people who have rotator cuff problems. Weakness happens when the rotator cuff muscle begun to tear. The weakness is usually worst when trying to lift the arm over your head.
• Popping or Clicking – Popping or clicking in the shoulder can be related to many causes like cartilage tear or rotator cuff tear that is rubbing within the joint. It can also happen due to subtle instability, or the shoulder is coming in and out of socket.
• Stiffness – The using of shoulder can be stopped by a pain from a rotator cuff injury due to which the shoulder gets stiff because of an accumulation of scar tissue. This is often called a frozen shoulder. Stiffness can also be caused by arthritis of the shoulder. Shoulder stiffness in diabetes sometimes can set in for no reason. This is called adhesive capsulitis.
• Looseness – A sign of shoulder instability is looseness. If shoulder is felt coming in and out of the socket, or especially if the patient is having any dislocations, then there is need to go to the ER to get the shoulder put back in place.
Shoulder problems are usually diagnosed by the doctors using:- • Medical history of the patient
• Physical examination
• Performing tests such as x rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).