DAVE WATTS, MD
Treatments of Different Types of Shoulder Injuries
Let us first have a look at the different shoulder injuries which can cause problem.
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
The irritation or inflammation of the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint cause rotator cuff tendinitis. This type of shoulder injuries occur in people who play sports requiring the use of the shoulder.
Some of the ways of treating rotator cuff tendinitis shoulder injuries include the following.
- The orthopedic doctor may prescribe the patients to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- The patient need to apply cold packs to help sooth this shoulder injury.
- You must avoid activities which cause shoulder pain.
- Some other ways of treating rotator cuff tear shoulder injuries include physical therapy, steroids, and surgery. In some cases home care can also help overcome these types of problems.
Rotator Cuff Injury
Rotator cuff has four muscles in a group that work together to help the shoulder function. Rotator cuff plays an important role in stabilizing the shoulder. Every movement of the shoulder is supported by rotator cuff for stabilization.
Some ways of treating rotator cuff tear
Let us have a look at some of the ways to treat rotator cuff tear injury.
- The orthopedic doctor may ask the patient to use anti-inflammatory medicines like naproxen and ibuprofen.
- To rest the arm with rotator cuff tear by wearing a sling. The use of sling will help stabilize the shoulder.
- The use of cortisone injections will help reduce the inflammation.
- Slow exercises as per the instructions of the orthopedic doctor to help improve shoulder muscle strength.
- To apply cold or hot packs which are affecting the shoulder. It will help reduce swelling.
- In rate cases the doctor may advise the patient to undergo rotator cuff tear surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will only ask you to have surgery if other ways of treating this shoulder injury do not yield results.
Frozen shoulder is a condition which reduces the mobility. The frozen shoulder occurs because of the thickening and tightening of the shoulder joint. This thickening limits the mobility space and curtails its movement. Common symptoms associated with frozen shoulder include stiffness, pain, and swelling.
Typical causes of frozen shoulder include diabetes, hormonal imbalance, or a weak immune system.
Here is a look at individuals who are more prone to developing a frozen shoulder.
- People who have thyroid disorders.
- Individuals who have an inactive lifestyle due to some illness.
- Similarly, individuals who wear a sling for an extended period of time due to injury.
Let us have a look at the ways of treating frozen shoulder.
- The patient may need to undergo physical therapy.
- The use of medication to help relieve the pain.
- Homecare can work if the patient’s frozen shoulder is in its early state of development.
- Surgery may become the last option for patients in rare cases.
Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder
Individuals who are above the age of 50 have a higher chances of developing osteoarthritis of the shoulder. However, it may occur in young people because of a trauma or injury. Typical causes of osteoarthritis in young people include dislocated shoulder or fracture. If a patient is suffering from arthritis due to an injury or trauma, it is called posttraumatic arthritis. In some cases it can be transferred from parents to their children.
Let us have a quick look at some ways of treating osteoarthritis of the shoulder.
- The use of dietary supplements can help including chondroitin and glucosamine.
- Sometimes your orthopedic doctor may prescribe the use of anti-inflammatory medications to help overcome pain.
- The application of ice to the shoulder for 20 minutes thrice a day can also help. Make sure to ask your orthopedic surgery doctor and never indulge in self-medication.
- Other ways of treating shoulder osteoarthritis include physical therapy, exercises to improve mobility, and taking rest.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
The compression of the nerves or blood vessels in thoracic outlet syndrome can cause this condition. The compressing of various structures involving muscles, nerves, and blood vessels cause shoulder pain. The pain because of thoracic outlet syndrome can extend to arms, neck, and pain.
Cause of thoracic outlet syndrome are as follows.
- An injury to the thoracic outlet compressing the underlying nerves and vessels.
- Obesity and poor posture of the body.
- Some people who are born with an extra rib can develop this problem.
- Sometimes overuse of the shoulder and arms can cause this shoulder injury.
Treatments for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Physical therapy of the patient affected by the thoracic outlet syndrome.
- The use of over-the-counter medications to help relieve the pain.
- The orthopedic surgery doctor may ask their patients to reduce weight.
- Sometimes, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend undergoing surgery. Surgery can help treat these types of shoulder injuries.
Gout in Shoulder
Gout can occur in different parts of the human body. The increase in uric acid within the blood can result in gout of the shoulder. Let us have a look at the different ways in which gout can affect the shoulder.
- Pain in the shoulder region with the decrease in mobility.
- The formation of tophi or crystalline lumps if they interact with the shoulder joint function.
- The reduction in shoulder mobility and motion due to increase in uric acid.
A patient suffering from gout in the shoulder must take it seriously Let us have a look at some of the ways of treating gout in the shoulder.
- The use of non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the patient.
- Pain relievers and corticosteroids can help reduce the levels of uric-acid.
- Also, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep visiting your doctor for routine checkups.
Sprains of the Shoulder
The tear of a shoulder ligament is known as strain or sprain. There are two types of sprains that occur in the shoulder area. Let us have a look at each one of them.
Acromioclavicular Joint Sprain
A tear between the acromion and collarbone is known as acromioclavicular joint sprain. It is the type of shoulder most commonly occurring in the patients. There are three levels of acromioclavicular joint sprain including Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III.
Sternoclavicular Joint Sprain
The sprain of the sternoclavicular joint is called the sternoclavicular sprain. This type of shoulder sprin rarely occurs in the patients. Similarly, sternoclavicular joint sprain also has three levels including Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III.
Treatment of Shoulder Sprains
The treatment varies with the type of shoulder sprain.
In case of a acromioclavicular joint sprain of Grade I and Grade II, the doctor will recommend anti-inflammatory medications. For Grade III pain, the orthopedic doctor will recommend the use of sling. In some extreme cases, the patient may need to undergo surgery.
When treating the sternoclavicular sprain of the shoulder, the doctor will see the level of the strain. For Grade I sprains, the doctor will advise use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and the use of sling for a week or two. For Grade II sprains, the doctor will assess the patient while asking them to wear a sling. The patient will have to wear the sling for three to six weeks. In case of a Grade III sternoclavicular joint sprain, the orthopedic surgeon will ask the patient to undergo a surgical procedure. This surgical procedure is known as close reduction.
Tips for Improving Shoulder Injuries
Here are some tips to improve your shoulder health.
Keep Proper Posture of the Upper Back
It is important that you take care of your posture. Always sit upright and straight while using a computer. A hunched posture with a rounded upper back can create create problems for your shoulders. There are various exercises you can perform to take care of your shoulder flexion. If you have a shoulder injury, make sure to ask your orthopedic surgery doctor before doing any exercise.
Back To Wall Shoulder Flexion Exercise
The back to wall shoulder flexion exercise helps you improve the strength of your back and shoulders. It is not just an exercise but it also lets the patients evaluate if they have any pain or discomfort. If you have trouble raising your arms above your head level, you need to get in touch with your orthopedic doctor.
Work on Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff exercises are not easy to do. However, these exercises help train your rotator cuff. A significant number of people who have no exercise can have rotator cuff tear. The number of such people increases when they reach the age of 60. You must not wait for the pain to set in before you start doing the exercise. Therefore, you need to make sure that start exercising and strengthening your rotator cuff.
Use Different Shoulder Pressing Movements
When you exercise on your shoulder, it involves different pressing movements. Make sure that you do not rely on one or two types of shoulder pressing movements. You must make sure to not narrow down yourself to particular type of shoulder muscle group. Try to work on different shoulder exercises working on various groups of muscles around the shoulder joint. This approach will help you improve overall strength of your shoulder.