Shoulder pain

Shoulder pain is very common as the shoulder joint helps keep the shoulder stable. Sports that require repeated use of the shoulder such as volleyball, cricket, and swimming, can lead to wear and tear that causes shoulder pain that does not get better with rest. Other causes of this injury can be trauma, such as a fall or accident, and over-use due to age. Surgery is sometimes required for a severe injury, but often a combination of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections can be enough. Time off to rest and early detection are the keys to preventing this type of injury.

What is a shoulder injury?

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket and it really helps keep the shoulder stable. So shoulder pain is very common either through repetitive shoulder use in sports, a fall or accidents, or simply over-use due to age.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Shoulder pain that is persistent and that does not get better with an athlete’s normal period of rest is a sign that something more serious is happening. Pain that is out of proportion to what is normally expected during an activity is also a big sign. In these instances, patients should consult a doctor sooner rather than later.

What are the causes?

There are many causes of shoulder pain, and these are either traumatic injuries or overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries could be from an accident, or a lot of young athletes fall onto the shoulder and dislocate it. The other group of shoulder injuries is from overuse. This is usually from years of being very active and occurs later in life. Playing sports, working out, even just everyday use of the arms can lead to things like rotator cuff tears, bursitis, and inflammation of the shoulder. Younger athletes typically do not get rotator cuff tears, but they also can get shoulder pain from overuse.

How is it treated?

The treatment of shoulder injuries depends on what caused the pain in the first place. The more traumatic injuries like a shoulder fracture due to an accident, or even a dislocation, often require surgery. However, for most patients the injury will get better conservatively through a combination of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and even injections – ranging from cortisone injections to PRP or platelet rich plasma.

How can it be prevented?

The key to preventing serious shoulder injury is to rest, and this applies to all levels of athlete This combined with having a good stretching and strengthening programme to keep muscles, tendons, and ligaments as strong and flexible as possible will help prevent injury.