8 Common Shoulder Injuries and How to Treat Them

man with shoulder injury

Life is all about balancing a healthy, productive, and enjoyable lifestyle for you and your family.

However, no matter how active you are, there will always be some aches and pains that arise during your lifetime. Some temporary, some that will linger around for a while.

Such is the problem with shoulder pain. There are several different types of pains and several different things that could be causing those pains.

Because of that, it can be difficult to tell what shoulder injuries you’re dealing with.

Here is a list of the most common shoulder problems and how you can go about treating them.

1. Dislocated Shoulder

This injury happens most often while playing sports such as basketball or football, for example.

Generally, with this injury, you’ll know as soon as it happens. It occurs when your arm is pulled back too far in one direction causing the top of your arm to literally “pop” out of its socket.

The only way to treat this is by seeking treatment for a Doctor. However, if you’re looking to prevent the injury from happening, then consider a shoulder stabilizer brace to wear while playing sports.

2. Fracture

Yet another shoulder injury that’s common when playing high-contact sports. There are many different bones in your shoulder that can fracture or break such as the collarbone and humerus.

The pain will be an immensely sharp pain that will also start to bruise fairly quickly.

Most bone breaks will make it impossible for you to lift your arm, indicating that you are, in fact, dealing with a fractured or broken bone.

Just as with the dislocated shoulder, the only way to treat a fracture is with time and proper medical treatment. Be sure to follow every instruction your doctor gives you.

3. Separated Shoulder

One of the more gruesome shoulder injuries on this list. A separated shoulder occurs when hard contact forces the tearing of the ligaments in the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint).

It’s hard to define the pain associated with it as different people experience a different pain. Some feel the pain right away, some experience numbness, but almost everyone will visually see a significant bump at the top of the shoulder.

Your doctor will define a treatment process that includes stabilization, rehabilitation, and lots and lots of rest while the ligaments heal.

4. Instability

Many of you reading this have probably confused shoulder instability as being the same thing as a dislocated shoulder, which is incorrect.

Instability is what comes before the shoulder is dislocated. Sometimes the dislocation actually occurs, sometimes not.

Unfortunately, the only reliable form of treatment is to rest your shoulder and, if the pain persists, a trip to the emergency room. Be sure to take aspirin to relieve some of the pain and discomfort.

5. Torn Rotator Cuff

Many people become the victim of a rotator cuff tear each year. It usually happens either in sports or job positions that repeatedly require shoulder motion.

More often than not, it happens from normal wear and tears rather than one high contact moment such as falling or being hit.

The pain will feel as if it’s deep inside of the shoulder towards the very top of your shoulder.

Your avenue towards treatment depends on the severity of the rotator cuff tear. Some instances have nonsurgical treatment options to get you back on track. While others require the surgery to get things back to where they need to be.

6. Tendinitis

Shoulder tendinitis can happen to anyone at any age. It’s when a tendon in your shoulder becomes inflamed from overuse.

This could be from any number of things such as sports, working out, or even doing a hobby. If you’re reaching your arm above your head a lot, tendinitis may be a side effect.

To be preventative, try to stretch your shoulders when possible and take aspirin to help reduce the inflammation.

If the pain continues to worsen then seek medical attention for further instruction on what treatment routine will get you back on track. This could come via rehabilitation, different stretch routines, or in severe cases, a surgical procedure.

7. Frozen Shoulder

This injury is exactly as it sounds: you won’t be able to move your shoulder as freely as you once could. It occurs when adhesions multiply in the joint of your shoulder.

Most often this problem comes from not using the shoulder enough. Perhaps you had a previous injury that caused you to focus on putting less stress on it.

Meanwhile, by not using the shoulder you’ve actually worsened its movement.

Rehabilitation will be needed to make sure and get your shoulder’s range of motion back to where it once was. The length of time you’ve had the frozen shoulder issue, along with its severity, will determine the treatment route you should take.

8. Arthritis

One of the more common shoulder problems as you begin to age is shoulder arthritis. This pertains to the weakening of the bone, specifically on its outer covering.

Because of this, the bones will start to rub together as the cartilage fades away.

There are treatments such as physical therapy, rest, range of motion exercises, and anti-inflammatory medication for it.

Seek Treatment for Your Shoulder Injuries Right Away!

The most important factor in dealing with any of these shoulder injuries is to seek a diagnosis and treatment right away.

Your urgency to do so might be the difference in fully recovering from the injury or dealing with lasting side affects the rest of your life.

Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to topics like this one.

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