Learn about the causes of Shoulder Pain & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Shoulder Pain within New Zealand.
Therapies which may benefit Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can be related to a sprain, strain, dislocation or other
problem. Injury and overuse are common causes of shoulder pain, but it
can also result from a degenerative process, or from disease.
Causes of shoulder pain
Pain in the shoulder is a symptom rather than a condition in itself and
as such can be caused by a number of problems ranging from injury to
disease. Common conditions causing shoulder pain include frozen
shoulder and rotator cuff disorders.
A frozen shoulder, also
known as 'adhesive capsulitis', affects movement in the shoulder and
occurs when the tissue surrounding the joint becomes thick, swollen and
tight. Movement becomes painful and stiff as there is less room for the
upper arm bone (the humerus) within the joint.
has no clear cause but factors such as injury and surgery immobilises
the arm for long periods resulting in the tissue becoming tight. People
with diabetes are more at risk of developing frozen shoulder and
conditions such as heart or lung disease, neurological conditions (such
as Parkinson's disease) and hyperthyroidism increase the chances of
developing the problem.
A rotator cuff disorder such as
tendonitis, bursitis or a tear to the tendon can cause frozen shoulder.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles which surround the shoulder
joint and hold it in the correct position and control its movement.
Injury or overuse can trigger a rotator cuff disorder.
Symptoms of shoulder pain
Symptoms of shoulder
problems will depend on the type of shoulder condition experienced.
Pain can be isolated to one area or radiate out from the shoulder to
the arm or neck. Movement may also be restricted.
of a frozen shoulder are characterised by three stages. In stage one,
the shoulder aches and becomes stiff before pain is experienced. Pain
is often worse during the night when laying down or when putting
pressure on the affected side. Stage one typically lasts 2-9 months.
two is the adhesive stage whereby movement becomes stiff and the
muscles start to waste due to lack of mobility. Stage two frozen
shoulder may last between 4-12 months.
Stage three is when
movement gradually improves and pain begins to ease although there may
be periods of pain as the stiffness diminishes. Not everybody regains
complete movement after recovery but day-to-day tasks are possible.
Stage three frozen shoulder can last from 5 months to 4 years.
a rotator cuff disorder, the symptoms are distinct depending on the
problem. Tendonitis causes a sudden pain that is made worse by lifting
the arm above the shoulder. Impingement syndrome causes a chronic pain
which worsens at night or when lifting the arm above shoulder level.
tear in the tendon causes pain over the front and outer shoulder made
worse when reaching out or above. With a tear, the arm and shoulder may
feel weak and be accompanied by a clicking sensation.
Diagnosis of shoulder pain
A visit to your GP will
help to diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain. The GP will ask about
your symptoms and any events which may have caused the problem.
GP will perform a physical examination looking for redness, swelling or
dislocation. With a dislocation, the shoulder will be in an abnormal
The doctor will assess the mobility of the joint by
asking you to do any specific arm movements which cause you pain. If
the GP needs to rule out damage or disease to the joint they may refer
you for an X-ray or MRI scan.
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