Shoulder injuries most commonly occur in athletes participating in sports such as swimming, tennis, pitching and weightlifting. The injuries are caused due to the overuse or repetitive motion of the arms.
Shoulder injuries cause pain, stiffness, restricted movements, difficulty in performing routine activities and a popping sensation.
Some of the common shoulder injuries include sprains and strains, dislocations, tendinitis, bursitis, rotator cuff injury, fractures and arthritis.
- Sprains: A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments (tissues that connect adjacent bones in a joint). It is a common injury and usually occurs after a fall or sudden twisting action.
- Strains: A strain is the stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons (tissues that connect muscle to bone). It is common in people participating in sports. Strains are usually caused by twisting or pulling of the tendons.
- Dislocations: A shoulder dislocation is an injury that occurs when the ends of bones in the joint are forced out of position. It is often caused by a fall or direct blow to the joint while playing contact sport.
- Tendinitis: It is an inflammation of a tendon, a tissue that connects muscles to bone. It occurs as a result of injury or overuse.
- Bursitis: It is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac called bursa, which protects and cushions your joints. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, injury, arthritis, gout or infection.
- Rotator cuff injury: The rotator cuff consists of tendons and muscles that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. Rotator cuff muscles allow you to move your arm up and down. Rotator cuff injuries often cause a decreased range of motion.
- Fractures: A fracture is a break in the bone that commonly occurs as a result of injury, such as a fall or a direct blow to the shoulder.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of shoulder arthritis, characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint.
Early treatment is necessary to prevent serious shoulder injuries. The immediate mode of treatment recommended for shoulder injuries is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce the swelling and pain.
Your doctor may recommend a series of exercises to strengthen your shoulder muscles and regain shoulder movement.