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Getting to the Root Cause of Shoulder Pain

iStock 1167931096 Across our multiple orthopedic offices on Long Island, our team sees patients with shoulder pain on a regular basis. Due to the complexity of the shoulder joint, with its various muscles and tendons and bones, this part of the body is especially susceptible to injury and deterioration. When pain occurs, it is important to get to its root cause as quickly as possible. Doing so allows us to understand the best way to get you back to your normal quality of life. Here, we discuss some of the common causes of shoulder pain.

Fracture 

A fracture is a break in a bone. The bones that meet at the shoulder joint include the humerus, clavicle, and scapula. Any of these bones may develop a crack due to injury such as a fall or from repetitive motions. A fracture in a shoulder bone could present symptoms like swelling and bruising of the skin. Most fractures cause some degree of pain and, in most shoulder injuries, limited range of motion. If the fracture is severe, it may cause the appearance of deformity or a visible lump. 

Frozen Shoulder

As it sounds, frozen shoulder is a condition in which the shoulder may gradually lose range of motion. This usually involves a fair amount of pain when the shoulder is moved. There are three stages to frozen shoulder, freezing, frozen, and thawing, in which pain first gradually worsens, the shoulder loses mobility, and then, gradually, mobility and comfort are restored. We don’t completely understand what causes frozen shoulder. But we do know that the structures of the shoulder joint are encased in connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this tissue thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.

Dislocation

Shoulder dislocation is a type of injury in which the humerus bone pops out of the shoulder socket. This usually happens during a fall or collision of some sort. Shoulder dislocation can cause pain, weakness, numbness, swelling, and bruising. Until the bone is replaced into the socket, the shoulder has no mobility. This injury requires prompt medical attention. 

Arthritis

Arthritis can affect any joint in the body. It is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage in a joint wears down gradually. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, involving degradation caused by natural use of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition in which the joints of the body are attacked by the immune system. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff in the shoulder is made up of muscles and tendons. These are what enable the arm to move. The rotator cuff may tear as a result of an injury directly to the shoulder. This causes a limited range of motion, weakness, and pain. 

Shoulder pain can have numerous causes. An orthopedic specialist understands the toll that persistent or acute shoulder pain can have. Our team provides care for all types of shoulder pain that begins with the most conservative approach possible. To schedule a consultation at one of our Long Island locations, contact us at 631.689.6698.

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