Shoulder inflammation and pain can be a common source of discomfort for many individuals. The shoulder is a complex joint. It allows for a wide range of motion, which, unfortunately, also makes it susceptible to injury and inflammation. Such shoulder pain and inflammation can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, restricting their ability to perform daily activities and tasks. It may also affect sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and decreased productivity. Here at Neuragenex, we offer an alternative to conventional treatment solutions to help alleviate shoulder inflammation and manage pain without having to rely on medications or surgery.
How Do You Get Shoulder Pain And Inflammation?
A variety of factors can contribute to shoulder inflammation and pain. The following are some of the most common causes:
Poor posture can put an enormous amount of strain on your shoulder’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This strain can cause inflammation and pain over time if not addressed. When you slouch or hunch your shoulders forward, it places unnecessary stress on these structures, leading to irritation and discomfort.
Repeat motions, such as throwing a ball or lifting heavy objects, can cause overuse of the muscles and tendons in the shoulder. When these structures are overused, they can become inflamed and painful. Overuse injuries can also occur when individuals engage in activities that their body is not accustomed to, causing strain on the shoulder. Listening to your body and taking breaks when needed is crucial to prevent overuse injuries.
Previous injuries, such as dislocation or fracture, can cause long-term damage to the shoulder joint. These types of injuries can weaken the structures in the shoulder, making it more vulnerable to inflammation and pain. Furthermore, if a previous injury was not properly treated and rehabilitated, it could lead to chronic inflammation and pain in the shoulder.
A ligament that is stretched or torn is called a sprain, which causes inflammation and pain in the affected area. In the shoulder, sprains can occur due to sudden movements or falls that put stress on the joint beyond the shoulder’s normal range of motion. Sprains can be mild or severe and typically require rest and rehabilitation to heal properly.
Bone spurs are growths that develop on the bones in the shoulder joint. They can occur due to aging or wear and tear of the joints, causing inflammation and pain. If a bone spur grows big enough, it can limit the shoulder’s range of motion and make certain movements painful. In some cases, surgery may be recommended by medical professionals to remove bone spurs.
When the arm bone moves out of the shoulder blade’s socket, it is “dislocated.” A dislocated shoulder can lead to severe pain and inflammation due to the strain on the surrounding structures. In some cases, a dislocated shoulder may become recurrent, leading to chronic pain and inflammation. Even after the initial injury is treated, individuals may experience ongoing discomfort due to damage to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the shoulder.
When there is pressure on a nerve root, it is called a “pinched nerve.” Pinched nerves can cause sharp pain and discomfort that may radiate from the shoulder down the arm. Pinched nerves cause pain and discomfort due to the nerves being compressed. They can occur in the shoulder due to poor posture, overuse, or injury.
Medical Conditions Associated With Shoulder Inflammation And Pain
Although there are many possible causes of shoulder pain and inflammation, certain medical conditions are commonly associated with these symptoms as well. Some of these conditions include:
Adhesive capsulitis, more commonly referred to as a “frozen shoulder,” is when the shoulder becomes stiff and painful. This stiffness is caused by the thickening of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint, limiting its range of motion. Frozen shoulders are often caused by injury or by medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders.
Rotator cuff tendinitis, or “shoulder tendinitis,” occurs when the tendons connecting the muscles to the bones in the shoulder become inflamed. This inflammation can cause pain and discomfort, especially when performing overhead movements. Shoulder tendinitis can occur due to overuse, aging, or earlier shoulder injuries.
Bursitis is when the bursae, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs cushioning the bones and tendons in the shoulder, become inflamed. Overuse and injury can lead to bursitis, resulting in both pain and swelling. In cases of chronic bursitis, individuals may experience ongoing shoulder pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder. It affects the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. In the shoulder joint, RA can damage the cartilage and surrounding tissues, resulting in ongoing shoulder discomfort and stiffness. Additionally, individuals with RA may experience flares of symptoms that can worsen shoulder pain and inflammation.
Fibromyalgia causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, including in the shoulders. Individuals with fibromyalgia may experience heightened sensitivity to pain, making even minor pressure or movements painful. This can lead to ongoing shoulder pain and inflammation. Additionally, fibromyalgia can cause fatigue and stiffness, making it difficult to use the shoulder joint without experiencing discomfort.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, which can lead to shoulder pain and stiffness, especially when performing overhead movements. As the condition progresses, bone spurs may also develop, leading to further inflammation and pain. OA is commonly seen in older individuals and can be exacerbated by previous injuries or overuse of the shoulder joint.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. Tears in the rotator cuff can occur due to acute injuries or degenerative changes, causing pain and weakness in the shoulder. Inflammation can also occur due to the tears, leading to ongoing pain and discomfort in the affected area. Rotator cuff tears may require surgery for proper healing and restoration of function.
Contributing Factors For Shoulder Pain And Inflammation
Various risk factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of experiencing shoulder pain and inflammation. These include:
- Age: As you age, the wear and tear on your joints increases, making them more prone to inflammation and pain.
- Occupation: Jobs or activities that require repetitive overhead movements can strain the shoulder joint, increasing the risk of inflammation and pain. For example, manual labor, such as construction work or working as a removalist, can increase the risk of shoulder-related injuries and conditions.
- Sports: Contact sports or activities that involve frequent throwing, such as baseball or tennis, can put excessive strain on the shoulder joint, leading to inflammation and pain.
- Psychosocial factors: Negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute to muscle tension and pain in the body, including the shoulders.
When To Seek Medical Attention
Shoulder pain and inflammation can range from mild to severe, and paying attention to any changes in symptoms is essential. Sometimes, seeking medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. The following are signs that warrant a visit to a healthcare professional:
- Swelling: If the shoulder joint appears swollen or inflamed, it’s important to get it checked by a doctor.
- Limited range of motion: If you’re having difficulty moving your shoulder due to pain or stiffness, it could mean you have an underlying condition that requires medical attention.
- Intense pain radiating down the arm: If the shoulder pain is accompanied by a sharp, shooting sensation that radiates down your arm, it could be a sign of nerve involvement and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- Discoloration: If the skin around the shoulder joint appears bruised or discolored, it could indicate a more severe injury and should be examined by a doctor.
How The Causes Are Diagnosed
Diagnosing the cause of shoulder pain and inflammation typically involves the following steps:
- Physical examination: A healthcare professional will perform a physical exam to evaluate your shoulder joint’s range of motion, strength, and stability. They may also ask about any previous injuries or activities that could have contributed to your symptoms.
- Blood tests: Certain autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause shoulder pain and inflammation. Blood tests can help identify these conditions.
- Imaging tests: X-rays, MRI scans, or ultrasound may be recommended to get a detailed view of the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues to identify the source of pain and inflammation.
Conventional Treatment Options
Conventional treatment options for shoulder pain and inflammation depend on the diagnosis. Some common treatments include:
Medications are commonly recommended by traditional doctors for managing shoulder pain and inflammation. These may include:
Pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort and inflammation in the shoulder joint. These pain relievers may include over-the-counter (OTC) options such as ibuprofen or prescribed medications that contain stronger pain-relieving properties. However, long-term use of pain relievers can have adverse effects on the body. Those that contain opium-based ingredients can also be habit-forming. In addition, pain relievers only address the symptoms and not the underlying condition.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are commonly recommended by traditional doctors to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. These medications work by blocking enzymes that produce prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that cause pain and inflammation in the body. However, like pain relievers, long-term use of NSAIDs can cause side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Corticosteroid injections are a form of localized treatment for shoulder pain and inflammation. The medication is injected directly into the shoulder, providing quick relief from discomfort and inflammation. However, repeated use of corticosteroids can weaken tendons and increase the risk of further damage to the shoulder joint.
Hydrodilation is a minimally invasive treatment option for shoulder pain and inflammation. The procedure involves injecting a saline solution into the shoulder joint, causing it to stretch and relieve pressure on surrounding tissues. Hydrodilation can provide relief from pain while also improving the joint’s range of motion.
Physical therapy is often recommended by healthcare professionals as a treatment for shoulder pain and inflammation. A physical therapist can help you improve your shoulder’s range of motion, strength, and flexibility through targeted exercises and stretches. They may also use heat or ice therapy to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to address the underlying cause of shoulder pain and inflammation. This could include repairing damaged tissues or removing any impingements that are causing discomfort and limiting movement in the joint. Surgery should only be considered as a last resort, due to the risks and potential complications involved, which can include infection, nerve damage, and prolonged rehabilitation.
Neurofunctional Pain Management For Shoulder Pain And Inflammation
Our Neuragenex protocol differs from conventional treatment solutions in several ways. First, we use a Neurofunctional Pain Management approach, which means we focus on the underlying neurological causes of the pain and aim to restore proper function and movement in the affected area. Secondly, we use a whole-person approach that is drug-free, opioid-free, non-chiropractic, non-surgical, and non-invasive. This approach includes the use of the following modalities:
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We Manage Conditions Causing Shoulder Pain And Inflammation
Because our protocol was designed specifically to target the neurological factors contributing to chronic pain, and because our modalities can help reduce inflammation in a wide range of conditions, we can manage various medical conditions that can cause shoulder pain and inflammation. These include but are not limited to:
Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating and painful condition that causes swelling, joint damage, and immobility. Neuragenex offers a non-invasive, non-chiropractic solution to alleviate the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Our treatments are...
Free Your Shoulders From Pain And Inflammation
Shoulder pain and inflammation can significantly impact a person’s daily life and limit their ability to perform everyday tasks comfortably. Conventional treatment options mainly focus on managing symptoms in the short term but can also have adverse effects in the long run.
At Neuragenex, we take a different approach by targeting the root cause of the pain and inflammation using drug-free, non-invasive modalities. Our goal is to help you find long-term relief and improve your overall quality of life. If you are experiencing shoulder pain and inflammation, consult with one of our specialists to see how we can help you free your shoulders from discomfort.
Identify the cause of your shoulder pain—could it be a frozen shoulder?