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Common Shoulder Injuries
Common Shoulder Injuries

If you’re at a point where you’re experiencing shoulder pain, ask yourself the following:

1. Is your shoulder stiff?

2. Can you rotate your arm in all the normal positions?

3. Do you have pain when reaching overhead or when trying to sleep on your shoulder?

4. Do you feel as though you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above, a visit to the doctor might be in order to determine the extent and severity of the problem.

It should be noted that a good portion of shoulder issues tend to involve the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, as opposed to the actual bone. Athletes are particularly prone to shoulder problems which often develop slowly via repetitive, intensive training sessions; however, anyone can succumb to such injuries. It should also be noted that some people have a tendency to ignore the pain (ie, “push through it”) which, in turn, aggravates the condition and can cause more problems. Often times people tend to underestimate the extent of their injury because the steady pain, arm weakness, and/or a decrease in joint motion will, sadly, become almost second nature to them.

Now, we already know that the shoulder joint is comprised of three main bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). The glenoid (a portion of the scapula) and the humeral head (which is located at the top of the humerus) are normally the parts of the shoulder that have to be replaced because they rub together when you move your arm. In a healthy shoulder, these portions of bone are covered with cartilage, which allows for painless motion (like lifting, pushing, and pulling). But, arthritis can damage this protective cartilage, which makes these everyday motions painful.

Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that causes wear and tear to your joint cartilage, and it’s something that develops after years of constant motion and pressure on the joints. There are several non-surgical interventions, such as medication and physical therapy – however, if those fail to provide relief, shoulder replacement surgery might be your next step.

Another “biggie” when it comes to shoulders are rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together and is one of the most important components of the shoulder. The rotator cuff provides you with the ability to lift your arms and reach overhead. Unfortunately, when the rotator cuff is injured, achieving full mobility without pain can be a challenge. This is just one of the many reasons why early detection and proper treatment are key.

Obviously, other acute injuries – such as fractures and dislocations – exist {unfortunately} as well. However, all of these are areas in which the physicians here at Prairie Orthopaedic have both the knowledge and know how to get you back on your feet (so to speak!) in no time!