What does it mean when your shoulder hurts?
shoulder pain meaning
If you experience shoulder pain, stiffness, or limited range of motion, you'll know right away. Something is not right and it is affecting your quality of life in very fundamental ways. How to deal with it depends on the cause. Here are some of the most common causes of shoulder pain.
Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is characterized by pain and stiffness in the joint. Usually, this occurs when the shoulder has been injured continuously and has not moved the shoulder for a while.
Remember the capsules mentioned earlier? The capsule is the connective tissue that helps stabilize the shoulder. Frozen shoulder, the capsule becomes tighter and thicker, inhibiting movement. It can last for months, but usually improves on its own. Many people with frozen shoulder experience the worst at night when they go to bed.
Shoulder pain treatment for this condition can include exercise, manual therapy with the help of a physical therapist, acupuncture, and moist heat therapy.
Shoulder inflammation and impingement
Inflammation can be caused by tendonitis or bursitis in the shoulder. These are two variants of the same condition, just in different locations in the soft tissues - tendons and bursae. Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when your tendon is caught between the humerus and the shoulder blade called the acromion.
Often, inflammation can be the cause of compression of the tendon or bursa, which is why we list all three of these conditions as one of the reasons for shoulder pain.
Now, your shoulder tendons and bursae are compressed and "bumped" multiple times throughout the day, and usually your body can handle it. However, sudden changes in activity with increased load, "too much too fast" situations, can all contribute to the inflammatory response caused by this impact.
Shoulder impingement symptoms include radiating pain (usually down the arm), loss of strength, and reduced range of motion. Stiffness when raising and lowering the arm. You may experience sudden pain when trying to lift something. Pain is felt when reaching out, especially the top of the head. It may also affect the ability to sleep, either sleeping on that shoulder or trying to find a comfortable position to rest that shoulder.
For inflammation and shoulder impingement relief, you can use the same shoulder pain treatments as frozen shoulder. The goal is to calm the irritation and increase the elasticity of the shoulder tendons and bursa to take the load again.
Rotator cuff and tendon tear
Rotator cuff tears are common. In fact, many people have an asymptomatic tear at the rotator cuff, which means the tear exists but they don't know it because there is no pain, stiffness, or lack of strength. cool, right? !
However, in some cases, a rotator cuff tear is severe enough to limit your day. Image the rotator cuff as a blanket of tendons around the shoulder bone. Sometimes the tear could be a few fibers of that blanket with a small hole in it, but maybe not all the way through. This is what the medical community calls a "partial thickness tear." A "full-thickness tear" is one that has a hole completely through the tendon, and in some cases the tendon may be completely detached from the bone (but not always).
As mentioned above, someone may develop a localized thickness tear for years without knowing it. Sometimes caused by age, as various parts of the joint degenerate, the reduced blood flow makes the fibers unbearable for tasks.
You may also tear your rotator cuff or shoulder tendon from trauma. It can even happen by lifting too quickly or landing on your arm the wrong way. These will be acute tears, not degenerative tears that occur over time.
For partial or full-thickness tears, physical therapy is your best option. You don't know how much functionality can be fully restored until you try it. Even if the tear remains, there is a good chance that you will regain full functionality with a partial tear. Even full-thickness tears can restore full function with great compensation from other muscle groups.
Surgery may be required if function cannot be restored with a full round of physical therapy. After a rotator cuff repair, you may wear a shoulder brace for a period of time to help protect your shoulder as it heals.
What is a shoulder support? Does it help?
The brace provides shoulder support for a variety of injuries and conditions. There are many types of shoulder braces, from shoulder immobilizers that greatly restrict movement to shoulder stabilizers that allow for continuous movement but have more support.
For example, if you've had surgery, you'll need a more restrictive shoulder immobilizer that acts like a cast for a broken arm. It keeps your shoulders in the same position. Your shoulder needs maximum support after surgery. Before you do any exercise to rebuild your strength and range of motion, you will need some level of therapy.
For less severe injuries, a supportive shoulder brace like a compression sleeve can help reduce pain but allow for continued movement. This will allow you to continue performing basic tasks such as brushing your hair, reaching behind you, working overhead, bathing and sleeping, but with less pain.
How can a shoulder brace help relieve shoulder pain?
Are shoulder rests useful? Yes, if used for the right reasons.
Proper healing is the first priority after surgery, so the shoulder needs to be protected. In other cases, a brace may aid in proper clavicle healing after a clavicle fracture. Athletes returning to sports after shoulder subluxation may need a sulley brace. In less severe cases, light shoulder support may help relieve mild pain as long as it is not too strict.
Some shoulder rests have hot and cold features that allow you to raise and lower the temperature around your shoulders. This gives you more freedom to manage your pain.
Which shoulder rest is right for you?
Always, always, always talk to your doctor or physical therapist before using a shoulder brace. There are specific braces designed for specific conditions. Using the wrong one will either do nothing or make your wounds heal incorrectly. Or, it would be very uncomfortable or a waste of money.
Shoulder brace successfully treats common injuries
We've touched on some of these issues, but here's a more complete list of shoulder problems you can help treat with a shoulder brace:
rotator cuff tear
- rotator cuff tendonitis
- shoulder separation
- shoulder dislocation
- shoulder tendonitis
- shoulder bursitis
- torn labrum surgery
- impingement shoulder syndrome
- multidirectional instability
- SLAP fix
- frozen shoulder
- shoulder fixation surgery
- Shoulder fractures and breaks
- shoulder arthritis
- Shoulder arthroscopy - tendon repair
- shoulder instability
What is the best shoulder brace for pain?
You're looking for four main functions for any shoulder strap you end up using.
Shoulder support for your injury type or condition
- as comfortable and discreet as possible
- Made of high-quality materials with sturdy shoulder straps
- The shoulder straps are placed in the correct position