These Are the Different Types of Shoulder Pain

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Feb 18, 2021 12:34:00 PM

Population surveys show that 18 to 26% of adults experience shoulder pains at some point in their lives.

A shoulder is made of ligaments, tendons, and muscles held up together. When one of the components is hurt, the others become affected, resulting in shoulder pains. Wear and tear is the leading cause of shoulder pains, followed by aging and accidents. 

Below are descriptions of the different types of shoulder pain. If your shoulders have been aching for a while, this information will give you more insights even as you prepare to go to the hospital. 

Achy Pain

This is the most common type of shoulder happen. It is a deep pain that covers the entire shoulder parts. People who suffer from this pain cannot pinpoint the exact areas with the most pain because the whole part is usually covered with pain. The achy pain is caused by:

Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff injury is common to people aged 35 years and above. The pain happens when one part of the shoulder, known as the rotator cuff, is injured or becomes worn out.

Since the rotator cuff facilitates the shoulder's movement, its injury can cause flexibility issues alongside achy pain. A rotator cuff injury can either be partial or fully torn. 

The rotator cuff injury does not need any surgery because it is only caused by wear and tear. People suffering from this ache should rest well, enroll in physical therapy sessions, and use anti-inflammatory medications.

Frozen Shoulders

Frozen shoulder pain happens when the connective muscles of the shoulders thicken and become stiff. The thickening makes it hard to move the shoulders, and the entire shoulder parts can become extremely painful.

The frozen shoulder pain happens in three main stages. The first stage is usually the most painful, with zero flexibility. 

In the second stage, the neck pain reduces, and the shoulder becomes a little bit flexible. The third stage is the recovery phase. The pain starts to decline, and flexibility increases.

A frozen shoulder does not need specialized treatment. Patients are advised to stretch, get a massage, and other types of physical therapies.

Slap Tear

 A slap tear is also known as the posterior or anterior tear. It happens when a portion of the shoulder is damaged due to continuous wear and tear. The slap tear affects only one segment of the shoulder. The pain is experienced in all the parts of the shoulder; hence it's an aching pain.

Slap tear mostly affects athletes and other people who carry out hefty and engaging activities throughout their lives. A slap tear can also happen when you suddenly lift a heavy object or when someone forcefully pushes your arm.

Slap tear is characterized by reduced strength on your hands and shoulders, deep and aching pain, and reduced flexibility. The pain may disappear on its own, although it is advised to visit a pain doctor for medical examination.

Radiating Pain

This type of shoulder pain is characterized by sharp pain moving from the shoulder to the neck and the lower back. The pain is never profound, but it can be sharp and irritating. Sometimes, it can interfere with the flexibility of your shoulder muscles. Here are the main types of radiating pain:

Shoulder Arthritis

Arthritis refers to any cartilage damage. Cartilage is the part that covers the body joints, and thus it is present in every joint of the body. Shoulder arthritis happens when the shoulder cartilage becomes worn out, and it is common in adults aged forty years and above.

There are three main stages of shoulder arthritis. In the forest stage, the cartilage becomes very soft due to wear and tear. 

After that, the surface of the cartilage starts to develop cracks. With time, the entire cartilage surface becomes wholly worn out, and the whole shoulder becomes inflexible.

Osteoarthritis is the common cause of shoulder arthritis, which comes due to aging. The second cause of the pain is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder. It happens when your body cells attack the healthy cells of the shoulder.

Lastly, shoulder arthritis can be caused by post-traumatic effects, especially if you were involved in an accident. You can manage the arthritis shoulder pain by using medication or going for therapy sessions. 

Your doctor may also recommend shoulder arthritis injections, depending on the severity.  The pain does not require any surgery unless there is an underlying condition.

Biceps Tendinitis

Biceps Tendinitis is a sharp irritation on the upper part of the shoulder known as the tendon. The tendon is a tissue that connects the shoulder joints to the biceps.

Wear and tear is the leading cause of Biceps Tendinitis. The pain is common to athletes and people who carry out heavy daily work. Too much straining affects the typical structure of the rotator cuff tendon and causes sharp pain.

People suffering from this type of pain can minimize it by resting from the normal hefty activities. Steroid injections, medication, and physical therapy can also help. Surgery may be an option, too, if the tendon is badly damaged. 

Burning Pain

The last type of shoulder pain is the burning sensation, which affects some parts of the shoulder or the entire shoulder area. The burning sensation comes from the bursa's inflammation- a shoulder sac that is usually filled with fluid.

You might also feel the burning pain when you have an underlying rotator cuff injury. The main symptoms of burning pain include shoulder numbness, tingling, and shoulder weakness. The pain can disappear on its own, although it's advisable to seek medical attention first.

Learn More about the Different Types of Shoulder Pain

For more information on the different types of shoulder pain, please visit the nearest medical facility. 

Ensure that the hospital you visit has well-trained doctors and therapists on shoulder treatment. The right technician will educate you, examine you, and give you informative shoulder management tips.

Azpaindoctors .com is a pain management clinic. We understand how frustrating chronic pain can be, and that's why we deliver the best to our patients. We evaluate the patients carefully to pinpoint the cause of the pain and then initiate an appropriate treatment plan. 

All our physicians are certified, friendly, and affordable too. Please schedule an appointment with us today to get the help you need. We will follow up and set the date and time.

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