Pain that occurs at the junction of the humerus bone or, in other words, the arm bone in the region from the elbow to the shoulder and the scapula, known as the scapula, is considered as shoulder pain. There is a socket called the glenoid on the outside of the scapula. This slot is the joint area where the upper part of the humerus bone meets the scapula. The glenoid, which allows the arm to move from the shoulder, is covered with a hard and fibrous tissue layer called the labrum. Thanks to this layer, the upper arm bone or in other words the humerus moves more stably. Tissues such as muscles and tendons in the area also facilitate the shoulder joint to move more easily and stably. The structure formed by muscles and tendons is covered by a type of structure called rotator sheath. The shoulder joint, which allows the arm to move easily from all sides, is the most flexible joint in the body and has an extremely complex structure. In addition to the benefit provided by flexibility, the shoulder joint is also extremely susceptible to injuries in this respect. Traumas in the shoulder area can lead to pain by causing damage and tears in the rotator cuff. In addition, weakness in muscle development in this area can cause the shoulder joint to dislocate. Calcification, compression, injury, infection and metabolic diseases, neck hernia and fibromyalgia are among the common causes of pain in this area.
What is shoulder pain?
The shoulder joint, which consists of the upper arm bone (humerus), scapula (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle), is the largest joint of the body and can move in 4 directions, is interconnected and stable with many soft tissues. Shoulder pain often occurs due to soft tissue injuries that surround the bones and allow them to move. Subacromial impingement, known as shoulder impingement syndrome, is the most common cause of shoulder pain. Shoulder compression, which is caused by movements such as reaching out and wiping the glass by lifting the arm above the head level, occurs when the tendons in the shoulder area are squeezed between the bone structures in this area. In the formation of the conditions known as tendinitis and bursitis, it occurs when only one tendon or rotator sheath is injured due to the same movement. In addition to the pain caused by the shoulder joint, shoulder pain can also be seen due to the reflection of the complaints of the discomfort in different regions to this region. Inflammation in the shoulder nerves, circulatory disorders, heart and lung diseases, cervical hernias, systemic diseases in internal organs, thoracic outlet syndrome, the presence of tumors, diabetes, tuberculosis and some health problems due to fibromyalgia also cause pain in the shoulder area. Acutely intense shoulder pain is usually caused by muscle and tendon injuries due to incorrect movement. In such cases, before applying to the physician, the shoulder should be rested using as little as possible and the muscle tissue should be relaxed with ice application. Approximately 15 minutes of cold press application relieves most of the acute shoulder pain. Suspension to limit the use of the shoulder joint should be avoided as much as possible. This condition can cause a different orthopedic condition known as a frozen shoulder. Shoulder pain that only increases at night may rarely be caused by soft tissue tumors around the shoulder. If some mechanical problems are not treated in the early period, they cause limitations, interfering with the daily life of the person and decreasing the quality of life. If the shoulder pain lasts for more than 2 days and does not tend to heal, a specialist should be consulted, the cause of the pain should be investigated and appropriate treatment should be taken.
What are the causes of shoulder pain?
Many factors can cause the complaints defined as shoulder pain. These pains can be caused by problems related to the shoulder joint, as well as a symptom of many other ailments. Therefore, although shoulder pain is among the common joint pains, the location, type and severity of pain should be evaluated in detail together with other findings. At this point, it is important for the patient to give the correct medical history to the physician before the examination. According to the patient’s history, the physician will request additional examinations after the physical examination, and will reveal the painful situation and arrange the appropriate treatment. Some of the common shoulder pain causes are as follows:
• Bursitis: The condition known as bursitis is caused by inflammation of the fluid-filled vesicles located between the bone and soft tissue, reducing friction.
• Fibrositis: It manifests itself as pain and numbness caused by the inability of the muscles to relax as a result of using the shoulder joint with a bad body position.
• Frozen Shoulder: Pain occurs with the hardening of the shoulder joint capsule, which occurs with the restriction of shoulder movement. It is usually caused by the person’s not moving his shoulder for a long time due to shoulder pain for different reasons.
• Shoulder Dislocations: Pain may occur in the shoulder joint as a result of traumas causing the bone ends to be strained.
How is shoulder pain diagnosed?
Most of the shoulder pain is caused by the soft tissue in the shoulder joint. In order to evaluate the shoulder joint structure in detail, the physician may request an MR imaging after a detailed physical examination. A definitive diagnosis can be made with a detailed examination of the bones and other tissues in the shoulder area. However, in some cases, x-ray and computed tomography may also be sufficient. In some cases, a multidisciplinary approach is required to clarify the diagnosis of shoulder pain. For example, EMG may also be required for patients with nerve injury due to trauma. In case of pain hitting the shoulder area due to other diseases, the physician directs the person to the relevant department and makes the diagnosis clear.
How is shoulder pain treated?
Shoulder pain, which prevents a person from decreasing the quality of life and in some cases from doing daily work, is a condition faced by many people. While shoulder pain, which usually develops due to muscle strain and improper movement, heals spontaneously in a short time, it is necessary to consult a physician if there is no improvement in shoulder pain that lasts more than 2 days. Since shoulder pain that develops due to trauma requires urgent intervention, the person should apply to the nearest health institution without wasting time. When the person comes to the hospital with a complaint of shoulder pain, the physician first listens to the patient’s history in detail. After performing a physical examination, he examines the shoulder area with radiological imaging. After diagnosing the pain-causing condition, appropriate treatment is arranged. While simple pain medications may be sufficient in some cases, some cases require a multidisciplinary approach. If the existing pain does not originate from the shoulder joint, the source of the pain hitting this area is determined in this way and the department related to the treatment is organized with the physician.
How to prevent shoulder pain?
• Movements that will force the shoulder and carry heavy loads should be avoided.
• On hot days, especially the cold air blown by the air conditioner in the vehicle should be prevented from coming directly on the body.
• Movements that need to be kept above the head level for a long time, such as picking up or putting items from high, should be avoided.
• In the sitting position, the arms should be supported at the elbow area.
• Exercise should be done by placing the arms on the back and neck several times a day.
• If you also suffer from shoulder pain, do not forget to have your health check-ups regularly.