The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. Shoulders are several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to provide a wide range of motion to the arm, from scratching your back to throwing a ball. However, due to its extreme mobility, it tends to sacrifice stability and can lead to high risk of joint injury. Shoulder pain can be caused by several things. Most shoulder problems involve the shoulder’s soft tissues: the tendons, ligaments or muscles. The bones can also be affected.
A tendon (a band of tissue that attaches your muscles to the bone) can get pinched under the bone in your shoulder. Pain can also occur in the shoulder from diseases and conditions that involve the shoulder joint, the soft tissues and bones surrounding the shoulder, or the nerves that supply sensation to the shoulder area. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of your condition so that appropriate treatment can be recommended.
Shoulder pain is usually associated with repetitive movements or activity, such as heavy lifting, playing sports, or even working on a keyboard for long periods of time. These repeated activities can slowly grind your shoulders into a pain that you experience when you try to move your arms upwards and downwards. It can be incredibly frustrating if the pain stops you from doing simple tasks such as dressing or eating. However, if you don’t use your shoulder, perhaps after an injury, it can stiffen up. This is called a frozen shoulder. Arthritis in the joints around your shoulder can also cause pain. Other common problems of shoulder pain can be dislocation/instability (loose joint), fractures, sports injury, rotator cuff tear, synovitis, tendinitis, bursitis (excessive use of the shoulder leads to inflammation and swelling of a bursa), and Impingement Syndrome.
There are lots of treatments that can help with shoulder pain. Your doctor may suggest drugs, physiotherapy, or even surgery depending on the symptoms and the diagnosis of your pain.