There are many potential injuries associated with the shoulder. Unlike the hip, the shoulder was anatomically designed to have tremendous range of motion resulting from an incomplete capsule that encloses it.
There are four tendons collectively called the rotator cuff that provide extra stability. With repetitive overuse and frequent overhead activity, the tendons begin to wear down. Sometimes they may completely rupture with severe pain and weakness, and more often result in thickening of the tendon with partial tearing and scarring. Patients typically complain of shoulder pain worsening with activity that may radiate to the arm. It is important for the physician to determine if the pain is resulting from the shoulder or from the neck which can mimic shoulder symptoms.
Other problems include frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, where following a shoulder injury there is decreased range of motion. It is important to rehabilitate this condition otherwise while the pain associated may resolve, the lack of motion will not.
Bicep tendinitis is commonly involved with shoulder injuries. Patients typically complain of pain at the front of their shoulder and have pinpoint pain there when palpated.
As a result of trauma or wear and tear, bursitis may develop. A bursa is a small space that fills with fluid when the body is angry. It is a non-specific injury and often is secondary to another problem. There are multiple bursa throughout the body, hip, knee, etc.
Other common shoulder injuries include:
- Acromial-clavicular joint sprain (AC Joint) is evident typically with shoulder pain while reaching across the body.
- Labral tear: A labrum is a small piece of cartilage that helps the head of the humerus attach with the socket.
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