What is Referred Shoulder Pain?

Feeling pain is never a good problem to go through. However, sometimes pain in one area of the body can be a sign of an issue in another area. While you may have shoulder pain and you at first think it’s something to do with your arm or shoulder, it could be something called referred shoulder pain instead. It may not have anything to do with the actual location of the pain in your body.

Referred shoulder pain is actually pain that shows up in the shoulder but could be an indication of gallstones, heart blood vessel problems, lung infection such as pneumonia, or a variety of other problems. The pain you’re feeling in your shoulder could be from another area instead of your actual shoulder. If you’re noticing pain in that area and it doesn’t change when you move your arm or neck, it could be referred shoulder pain.

When You’re Having Pain

It is always best to have your doctor check you out when you’re feeling pain, whether it’s in your shoulder or in some other area. Pain is a sign that something is not quite as it should be and should not be ignored.

Shoulder pain can be from an injury to the shoulder such as a fall or sports injury. It can also be caused by something entirely different. Things to look out for include:

  • Pain that is felt not only in the shoulder but in your shoulder blade areas, neck, armpit, or even in the chest
  • Left arm and shoulder pain can be signs of a serious problem such as inflammation around the heart or a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a procedure done recently it could be gas that was used in the process causing the pain
  • Intense pain that comes on quickly
  • Swelling in the area
  • If you have the inability to use your arm or move the shoulder joint

These are signs that you should be watching out for to make sure you seek medical attention when it’s needed. If you’re having shoulder pain and you have shortness of breath or tightening of your chest, call the emergency officials to assist you. It could all be signs that something dangerous is on the horizon.

If you know what your referred shoulder pain is from, such as a recent medical procedure or you’ve had a diagnosis, you can use some of these tips to help with the pain. Be sure to rest the shoulder and use ice to help relieve the inflammation. Over the counter pain relievers can also be a huge help to reduce the pain and swelling.

Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Fractures: Treatment & Management

It is very uncommon to suffer from scapula fractures but it does happen. This can be due to a major trauma or other events but usually results in shoulder pain and treatment being needed. They typically occur in less than 1% of the population but do still happen from time to time. The most common age group that suffers from shoulder blade fractures are young men between the ages of 25 and 45. This is basically because of the types of activities and events that age group participates in.

Causes

A shoulder blade fracture can be caused by different traumatic events. An automobile accident is one such event that can cause your shoulder pain and to fracture the scapula. Another common cause of this injury is a fall that pertains to direct impact on the shoulder. This could be an example of falling off a ladder and onto your shoulder, or falling from a height that ends in landing on your shoulder itself. This could also result in direct injuries from a baseball bat or even an impact from a hammer.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a scapula fracture can include one holding their arm close to the body to reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation, and the inability to use the arm. If moving the arm increases the pain, this may mean that you have a shoulder fracture.

Treatment Options

Most of the time shoulder blade fractures do not require surgery for treatment. In some severe cases, surgery will be required but this is not the norm. Typically ice and anti-inflammatory medications are used to help reduce swelling and the shoulder pain that is associated with this injury. Your shoulder may also be immobilized in a sling for up to four weeks or more depending on the severity of the injury. This keeps you from moving the shoulder and potentially reinjuring it before it is properly healed. Physical therapy may also be needed to help in rebuilding the mobility after the injury has taken place.

While most times shoulder blade fractures are easily treated, they need to be seen by a medical doctor before letting them go. This is because most often a shoulder fracture has been caused by a very traumatic injury. This could also be a sign that other injuries have taken place in the body that you may not be aware of. Always have a medical examination after a fall or injury such as a car accident to rule out any life-threatening injury.

Frozen Shoulder: Cause & Symptoms

Frozen shoulder as its name suggests is a medical condition affecting the shoulder joint where it becomes swollen and stiff as though it is frozen. Our shoulder is a ball and socket joint designed for a wide range of motion and flexibility. Frozen shoulder is a condition that happens slowly over time and will also go away after a year. It may happen after injuries or diseases such as diabetes or stroke. Patients with frozen shoulder will have the formation of scar tissues in the shoulder capsule, causing it to thicken.

There is still no full understanding as to why frozen shoulder occurs. However, there are a few possible causes that are attributed to it:

Previous injury associated with shoulder

Patients who have had past shoulder injuries or surgeries such as a fracture or shoulder replacement may experience frozen shoulder. This is largely due to the post-recovery process requiring them to have large amounts of immobilization time. As a result, the shoulder capsule tightens over time and result in it freezing.

Diabetes

Patients who suffer from diabetes are twice as likely to develop frozen shoulder though the mechanism is still unknown. It could be due to the large buildup of collagen in the shoulder joint. Diabetic patients have large amount of glucose molecules in the body and these excess glucose will attach themselves to the collagen, causing them to stiffen up.

The most common and obvious symptom of frozen shoulder is persistence pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. Symptoms usually develop slowly over time, usually within a two year timeline.

There are three stages of frozen shoulder:

Pain stage – This is the initial stage where the shoulder will become slightly stiff and the pain increases when any movement is made on the shoulder. This will result in the reduced amount of motion in the shoulder, causing it to become worse. Pain will increase after periods of immobility such as after a sleep in the morning.

Frozen stage – This is the stage where the shoulder will become much stiffer and movement is almost impossible. Usually in this stage, pain does not increase nor go away. Patients will often feel that this is due to them getting used to the pain and they are usually resigned to a lifestyle requiring little use of their shoulder.

Thawing stage – This is the final stage where improvements are slowly seen. The pain in the shoulder will start to go away and shoulders will become less stiff. Patients will be able to move their shoulder much more than before.

Impingement Syndrome: Symptoms & Treatments

Impingement of the shoulder is an extremely common problem associated with shoulder pain. It occurs due to the impingement of tendons in the shoulder. Repeated usage of the shoulder joint will increase the chances of one suffering from shoulder impingement. This is especially so for athletes involved in sports such as tennis, swimming and badminton. Unlike other injuries, pain is extremely persistent in shoulder impingement and will affect all of the daily activities.

The structure giving our body its shape are the bones and surrounding it are the muscles. When an injury is suffered, blood will rush to the site in order to combat against infection. When this happens, the area will swell up and lead to a chain event. The swelling up of muscles will create tremendous pressure and impinge onto soft tissues such as the ligaments and tendons.

The usual symptoms associated with shoulder impingement include tenderness and soreness. There will be persistent pain throughout that does not go away with treatments such as using hot pack or massages. Over time, the shoulder muscles will weaken and it is nearly impossible to place the arm over your head. Prolonged impingement will lead to the tearing of the shoulder muscles, leading to a rotator cuff injury.

Symptoms of a shoulder impingement is classified into 3 different stages from 1 to 3. Stage 1 involves young patients who are below 25 years. In this stage, the only type of symptom observed is swelling and imflammation. This is due to the ability of the body to repair itself. In stage 2 which involves people from 25 years to 40 years, there will be a significant loss of ability to use the shoulder joint due to it weakening. In stage 3 which happens to people above 40 years old, the symptoms will be much more serious as it often involves the tendons, muscles and bones.

The initial stages of treatment is non-surgical. Oral medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen will be prescribed in an attempt to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy will also be conducted to strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve the range of motion and rotation. If these do not seem to have an effect, a cortisone injection will be injected directly to combat infection. If no improvement is seen after 2 months, the patient will have to undergo a MRI scan and a surgery will need to be performed if it is diagnosed to be a rotator cuff tear.

Importance of Recovery Period In Your Exercise Regime

Rest and recovery is probably the most important part of your exercise regime. Sufficient rest is required to maintain high level performance levels but many people still choose to over train and overuse their muscles. Too much rest will cause you to lose the intensity while too little will cause you to burn out fast. You need to strike a balance between rest and training. Repair and strengthening of the body doesn’t take place during the exercise itself. Instead, they happen when the body is at rest.

Recovery starts the moment you stop exercising. The glycogen in your muscle will be replenished and your body will start to repair muscles that are damaged such as minor muscle tears. It is through this process that your muscles get stronger and firmer. Imagine yourself twisting a paper clip now. The more you twist it, the stronger and more difficult it becomes. Your muscles will be able to withstand stronger loads the next time. However, all these are only possible through rest and recovery.

Sufficient recovery time also helps to burn more fats in your body. You can be doing a lot of cardiovascular training but without sufficient rest, you cannot burn off the fats effectively. Recovery allows the body to have time to fully stretch and contract the muscles and increase the heart rate. This increases metabolism and eat away excess fats.

Many athletes suffer from injuries simply because they over train and overuse their muscles. Without sufficient recovery periods, the muscles are unable to cope with the intense activities going on and pre-existing injuries will be amplified. Insufficient rest will also cause you to lose focus on what you are doing at the moment and this can be very dangerous, especially if you are lifting heavy weights.

Another extremely important reason why recovery is important is to allow sufficient rehydration of the entire body. Intensive training will use up all the fluids in the body and if they are not replenished, it can cause muscle cramps and even cause the body to break down. The muscles need to be constantly fed with electrolytes to keep them in optimum condition.

Rest and recovery are the most important part of a training regime. Although you may be tempted to not rest during exercises hoping to gain more muscles, it can lead to injuries and cause a negative effect for the body. Recovery also helps to repair the body and prevent injuries such as shoulder pain or elbow pain especially if you are playing sports such as tennis.

5 Simple Rehab Exercises for Rotator Cuff Injury

Our rotator cuff is made up of muscles, tendons and ligaments which hold the shoulder blade firmly with the humerus. Our shoulder joint is one of the most heavily used joint in the whole body and this place the shoulder at a high injury risk. Rotator cuff injuries can commonly happen to people who are actively in sports or use the shoulder heavily. Exercises are an integral form of treatment for someone suffering from Rotator Cuff injuries. It is also often the first form of treatment that most doctors will prescribe to patients and only when it fails will he recommend surgery.

Shoulder blade stretch

Shoulder blade stretching can be performing either standing up or in a seated position. Reach across your chest with both arms and try to hold onto the opposite shoulder blade. You should be able to feel a tight stretch at both shoulders and hold in the position for 15 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 3 sets of 10.

Shoulder elevation

Stand in an upright position with both arms at the side and keeping the elbows straight. Slowly lift up your arms forward to 70 degrees while ensuring that the elbows are still kept straight. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Shoulder rotation

Lie down on the floor on one side of your body and use the hand on the opposite side and bend the elbows 90 degrees. Slowly rotate the shoulder in an upwards direction. You should be able to feel the pressure at the shoulder blade lessening. Continue the rotation for 3 sets of 10 and switch sides.

Bicep curls

Start off with a light weight dumbbell in your hands and slowly bring them up in an alternating manner until you feel a very tight stretch in the biceps and hold in the position for 10 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and switch hands. Perform 3 sets of 15.

Prone Horizontal Abduction

Lie down on your stomach with your hands by the sides. Slowly extend both arms outwards in a parallel manner and until you can feel a tight strain. Hold in the position for 10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.

Rehab exercises may seem boring and you will not feel motivated to perform them. However, their main purpose is to increase flexion and extension, as well as to strengthen the shoulder. Strong muscles are important if surgery is required in the future and it can help to lessen the recovery period.

Unravel the Mystery of Shoulder Pain

The function of the shoulder joint is to provide mobility to the shoulder and it is one of the parts of the body which is heavily used every single day. Many people suffer from shoulder pain. Many different reasons can result in shoulder pain and it is important to know the exact orthopaedic reason and only then can the correct diagnosis and treatment be made. Shoulder pain can suddenly happen and many people are unsure of it. Let’s try to unravel the mystery of shoulder pain today.

Bursitis

Since the shoulder joint is heavily used, there are a lot of rubbing actions throughout the day. There are small fluid filled sacs called bursae to cushion the bones and the soft tissues. These will help to reduce friction and increase gliding motions. However, due to excessive repetitive usage of the shoulder joints, inflammation can happen on the bursae, leading to pain and swelling known as bursitis. This can cause difficulty in performing simple actions such as lifting of the hand or wearing of clothes.

Impingement

Impingement of the shoulder happens when the shoulder blade exerts too much pressure onto the surrounding soft tissues such as the bursa or the tendons, causing bursitis. Over a period of time, shoulder impingement can possible result in a rotator cuff tear.

Shoulder instability

Shoulder instability can be due to overuse of the shoulder joint or due to an injury which causes the arm bone to be loose and slip out of the socket joint. The shoulder joint acts as a ball and socket model where mobility can be easily obtained without much limitation. However when the ball and socket is loose, it can cause subluxation. The surrounding ligaments and tendons are weakened and they are unable to fully support the motions, causing pain and instability.

Tendon tears

Tearing of the tendons could possibly occur due to ageing or injuries, overuse or wear and tear. Depending on the severity of the tear, it can be a partial one or a complete one. A complete tendon tear will result in tremendous pain and loss of stability.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common cause of shoulder pain and the most common form is osteoarthritis or wear and tear. Arthritis usually occurs during mid-age around 30 years old and over time, it will become worse. Osteoarthritis can also happen at a young age due to injuries or overuse and it will result in rotator cuff tendon tears or inflammation. Arthritis will cause simple daily motions to be almost impossible and you will often experience stiffness of the joints.

There are many reasons that can cause shoulder pain. I hope that the above article had help to unravel some of the mysteries and after you know the exact reason, you will be able to use the correct treatment method.

Common Basketball Injuries

Basketball is an intensive sport that requires motion such as jumping, running, sudden twisting and leaping and thus, the chances of injuries are quite high. Research has concluded that the chances of a basketball injury is twice as high as compared to a baseball injury. Basketball involves the entire body from the arms, shoulders, wrists, waist, knee, ankles and feet. Basketball injuries are classified under overuse and traumatic and as their name suggest results from either constantly exposing a part to stress without providing sufficient rest and from sudden impact.

Hamstring strains

Basketball involves frequent sudden change in direction, especially when a counter attack is going on. During these sudden burst of speed, the hamstring muscle which is located at the back of our thigh will need to contract to decelerate the motion of the shin bone. As such, it is at a high risk of injury.

Hand and finger injuries

Basketball is played with the hands and the ball is usually passed at high speed. An incorrect receiving method could result in the fingers getting locked and twisted. During the shooting process, the fingers could be fractured if the shot is taken incorrectly or an attempt to prevent a block is made. During the dribbling process, sudden hand changing motion could injure the ligaments in the fingers and hand.

Ankle sprain

An ankle sprain is a common basketball injury and it occurs when the ankle is rolled. Ankle sprains can cause damages to the the anterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. An ankle sprain can also lead to an ankle fracture and doctors will usually do an X-ray to determine whether it is a sprain or a fracture.

Knee ligament

As mentioned above, basketball involves sudden twisting motion throughout the game. During the twisting process, the foot is still firmly grounded on the floor and if it does not change direction with the knee, it can cause damages to the knee ligaments. When the foot is unable to change direction, it can cause rupturing of the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament.

Meniscus

A knee ligament injury is often accompanied by a meniscus injury. The purpose of the meniscus is to act as a cushioning between the bones and they will absorb the shock from the knee. A serious twisting injury can result in damages to the ACL and MCL as well as the meniscus. This will cause instability of the knee.

Overall, basketball is a fun but intensive game that is not meant for people of all ages and medical condition. People with weak knee should avoid the game or they will need to use protective gears. To prevent most of the injuries, protective gears such as a knee brace, finger sleeves and ankle guards could be used to compress and stabilise the area.

Common Upper Back and Neck Injuries

Our neck is one of the part of our body that is used a lot throughout the day and neck. Our neck is extremely flexible but due to the lack of any form of muscle support, it has to bear the weight and stress of our head, placing it at a high risk of injury. Any forms of sudden impact can cause serious injuries and damages to the ligaments. Our spine runs from our back to the neck and it communicates with the entire body by sending nerve signals. One thing that many people fail to recognise is that pain in the arm could be a sign that something is wrong with the neck and not the arm itself since nerve signals are sent through the body. What are some of the common upper back and neck injuries experienced by many?

Muscle sprain

A muscle sprain occurs when there is an injury to the connective tissues called the ligaments either due to sudden twisting motions or injuries such as falls. Some common symptoms of a muscle sprain includes pain, swelling and a loss of flexibility in that region. Depending on the cause, it can be mild or severe.

Muscle strain

The main difference between a strain and a sprain is that strain is an injury to the muscle. Muscle strain can occur due to reasons such as improper posture while lifting a heavy object. Similar to a neck sprain, symptoms of muscle strain includes pain, swelling and loss of flexibility as well as muscle spasm, indicating an injury to the muscle.

Cricked neck

A cricked neck or stiff neck occurs due to prolonged non movement in a certain position such as sleeping or long hours of improper posture while using the computer. It is often due to muscle spasm and can usually be treated with a hot or cold pack.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a common neck injury to the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the neck due to a sudden force which causes the neck to be moved beyond its range of motion. Some common situations include a vehicle accident whereby a sudden braking motion or an impact after being hit by the car in front or behind, causing the neck to be extended beyond its intended range.

Muscle irritation

Our shoulder is attached by large muscles to the shoulder blade and they can be easily irritated when it is exposed to cyclic loading over a prolonged period of time, causing pain, swelling and strains.

Injuries are often due to sudden impact that causes a strain or sprain to the ligaments and tendons, causing injuries and pain to the patient. The chances of injuries can be reduced by taking proper precautions such as protective sportswear and safe driving techniques.

Introduction to Various Shoulder Injuries

Our shoulder is a very delicate and complex component of our body that is kept together by bones, tendons and muscles. A shoulder injury is very painful and can cause a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to us. There are many different kinds of shoulder injuries and they are caused by different reasons such as strain, cyclic motion and injuries.

Rotator cuff strain

Rotator cuff strain is a common injury which is due to an inflammation of a tendon located in the shoulder. 4 muscles make up the rotator cuff namely the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. The most common reason for a rotator cuff strain is because of insufficient warm up prior to the start of an activity or overload of the muscles. Poor posture and accidentally falls causing you to land on your shoulders can also cause rotator cuff strain. A strain can slowly evolve into a tear if it is left untreated. For immediate treatment, RICE is sufficient. If symptoms get worse, consult a doctor immediately.

Dislocation

Our shoulder joint is an unstable joint due to the functions of it. The shoulder joint can be described as a ball and socket joint and the ball is the arm bone and the socket is the shoulder blade. It is the part of our body which has the most motion compared to all other joints. It is because of this fact that causes instability to the area. Instability can get worse when the ligaments are overstretched and are unable to hold the ball and socket firmly in place. Dislocation of the shoulder joint can occur due to injuries or trauma, causing the ball to go out of the socket.

Impingement

Impingement of the shoulder joint occurs when the supraspinatus, bicep tendons, bursa and subacromial are compressed over time, causing inflammation. It is due to repeated overhead usage of the shoulder joints. Activities which causes these include swimming and overhead press. To prevent impingement, you should allow adequate rest period between activities and strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles to allow it to take more load.

Tendonitis

Our muscles are connected to the bones through connective tissues called tendons and tendonitis is an inflammation of these tendons. The tendons that are most susceptible are the biceps tendons as well as the rotator cuff muscles. Tendonitis are usually caused by overuse, pulling or over-compression of the tendons, causing pain, tenderness and discomfort. To prevent tendonitis, ensure that proper warm up of the whole body is done and add on weights gradually to allow the body to adapt to it.

Above are 4 shoulder injuries that are frequently experienced by people. Our shoulder is an integral part of our daily life and any injuries to it will cause great discomfort and inconvenience our lives. They can be easily reduced by doing proper stretching, gradually load up and sufficient rest periods between activities.