The shoulder is made up of three main bones, the scapula (shoulder blade, humerus (long upper arm bone), and the clavicle (collarbone). Two of these bones, the humerus, and the scapula form a ball and socket to make up the shoulder joint, also known as the glenohumeral joint.
Our shoulder joints are our most mobile joints in the body. This allows for a wide range of motion including back-and-forth motions as well as circular motions. It is this dynamic range of motion that allows us to use our arms effectively for different everyday tasks. However, this joint’s mobility comes at the cost of stability.
To allow for a wide range of motion, the ball is significantly larger than the joint and only supported by our rotator cuff tendons. In other words, the ball does not fully fit into the socket, it is only held in place by soft tissues. This is where many shoulder problems arise.
There is a range of injuries that can affect the shoulder due to its form including the following:
- Pinched nerves
- Frozen shoulder
- Bone spurs
- Rotator cuff tears
- Cartilage tears
- Injury from use
Diagnosing the Cause of Shoulder Pain
To best treat your shoulder, your doctor will have to first identify the cause of the pain. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask for your medical history.
Your doctor will first check for any signs of inflammation and check for the range of motion too. He might also order an x-ray or an MRI to be able to observe the site better.
Your doctor will ask you about the pain- if it’s constant or only if you do certain movements, when it started or how. A common reason for shoulder pain is overuse such as in the case of athletes playing tennis and badminton. It is also a common result of accidents.
High-impact accidents such as car crashes can cause tears such as rotator cuff tears. These are tears to the rotator cuff muscles- the group of muscles that keep your arm attached to your shoulder.
Treatment can vary based on the severity of the rotator cuff tear. For slight tears, a few weeks of rest should be sufficient, but in bigger tears, surgery might be necessary.
If you were in a car accident and are now suffering shoulder pains, you might also need a personal injury lawyer as well. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC. We are a Wheeling West Virginia personal injury law firm dedicated to giving you what is rightfully yours.
Shoulder Pain Treatment Options
The treatment for your shoulder will depend on the cause of the pain and the severity. For minor tears and strains, rest and immobilization using slings are usually enough. For bigger and complete tears, surgery is often required. You might also have to undergo therapy after surgery.
Your doctor might also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs that can either be taken orally or injected into the site.
Home remedies for shoulder pain include immediately stopping the activity that caused the pain- usually actions involving the repeated raising of your arm over your head. You should also reduce the strain on your shoulder by temporarily shifting to your other arm for most tasks. You can also apply a cold compress three to four times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Once your arm has healed, it will also be beneficial for you to perform regular stretching and strengthening exercises on your shoulder. This will lessen the chance of any future rotator cuff injuries from happening.
While home remedies can be effective, it is important to first identify what the cause of the pain is with a licensed physician to make sure that the injury is nothing serious and can be treated with simple home remedies.
Treatment for serious shoulder injuries can be quite expensive since it can involve shoulder surgery and subsequent rehabilitation. It makes it unfair to place that burden on you if you were involved in an accident caused by someone else.
If you were unduly harmed by someone and are now experiencing shoulder pains, don’t hesitate to talk to one of our Wheeling, West Virginia personal injury attorneys to know if there is any way to make sure you are properly compensated.