It is not just professional athletes or manual workers who are more prone to shoulder pain. Being a desk-bound worker equates to long hours of typing and resting your wrists at angles that compromises your posture, and the repetitive actions of swiping items at the cashier counter — all these simple repetitive actions can result in shoulder pain.
Imagine a ball and a socket. The socket enables the ball to rotate. That is your shoulder. A combination of muscles keeps the ‘ball’, or your arm bone, centred in the shoulder socket. These tissues are called the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff, which is made up of muscles and tendons, facilitates movement and supports the joint connecting the upper arm and shoulder.
Most of the time, shoulder pain arises from problems involving the soft tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons, rather than bones. We can injure ourselves by just picking up a child or moving furniture. Problems with shoulders generally fall into the below categories:
Relating to the tendon, this condition can be a result of wear and tear that has taken place over the years. There are two types of tendinitis: chronic and acute. Chronic tendinitis is a degenerative disease associated with ageing. Acute tendinitis results from overuse of your tendon, from repetitive or excessive weight-lifting, ball throwing or carrying heavy equipment at work.
Bursas are fluid-filled sacs situated around the joints and help to reduce friction from movement. When inflammation and swelling of the bursa occurs as a result of excessive use of the shoulder, it may become painful to move. This is a condition known as Bursitis.
Sudden movements may cause the joints to move out of their normal position. When the ball moves out of the socket, either partially or entirely, you will experience pain and unsteadiness when you move your arm. This is commonly known as dislocation or subluxation. Dislocations can reoccur if the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the joint have already become loose or torn.
Pain can also arise as a symptom of a rotator cuff injury. The rotator cuff can be torn suddenly (acute tear) or over time (degenerative tear). The latter can be caused by repetitive stress in the area from household chores, a lack of blood supply to the tendons or bone spurs.
When arthritis forms from work or sport injuries, it gets inflamed which causes swelling, pain and stiffness. The soft tissue tightens and results in a painful restriction of motion.
There are many treatment and recovery methods for shoulder pain:
In order not to further aggravate the problem, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain activities and may also prescribe a sling to protect your shoulder to keep it still.
Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce pain and swelling.
Usually the last resort, this may be necessary if the pain is related to a bone spur or calcium deposits pinching a tendon. Muscle tears can also be repaired through surgery, but patients usually need four to six months of rehabilitation after that, before they can regain normal shoulder function again.
At Singapore Paincare Center, our experienced paincare doctors will adopt a multi-dimensional approach to do a thorough examination and advice on how to deal with your condition. Through our minimally invasive solutions such as Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) injections, these will alleviate your pain fast, so that you can return to your daily routine without agony.
We will normally recommend physiotherapy after to carry on your daily activities or sports but in the right way. The therapists will encourage you to lift weights properly and correct your posture, apart from teaching you exercises that can restore movement and strengthen your shoulder. Eventually, stronger muscles can better support your shoulder and prevent recurring injury.