Management of shoulder pain

By Canada Cloud Pharmacy | Published Thursday 11 February 2021

Our shoulder is involved in a wide range of movements. These movements are by the virtue of the rotor cuff made of tendons. Any problem associated with it results in shoulder pain and also affects its movement.

What are the probable causes of shoulder pain?

The probable causes of shoulder pain are:

•    Bursitis:  A swelling of the bursa (small sacs with fluids on the joints) known as bursitis.
•    Tendinitis: Tendons connect the muscles to the bone. Inflammation of tendons cause shoulder pain.
•    Arthritis: Osteoarthritis may cause the wear and tear of the shoulder joint causing stiffness and pain.
•    Injury: Any shoulder injury that causes the tendons to tear cause shoulder pain
•    Instability: Shoulder instability such as dislocation of the shoulder.
•    Impingement: Tendons of the shoulder may get pinched by the shoulder bones and produce pain.
•    Fractures: High impact injury may cause the shoulder bones to break.

How will a doctor diagnose the underlying cause of shoulder pain?

The doctors will perform some diagnostic tests to examine the underlying cause of the pain for appropriate treatment:

•    Physical examination: Doctors will perform a comprehensive physical examination to check muscle weakness, swelling, tenderness or difficulty in movement of the shoulder.
•    X-rays: They will show any injury or abnormality in the shoulder joint.
•    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and sonography: These give images of the ligaments and soft tissue surrounding the shoulder.
•    Computed tomography (CT) scan: It combines the X-rays with a computerized image of the bones.
•    Arthrogram: The doctor may obtain imaging of the tendons and ligaments after injecting a dye.
•    Electromyography: It evaluates the nerve functioning in the shoulder area.

What treatment options for shoulder pain?

The treatment modalities for shoulder pain include:

•    Resting the affected part and avoid overusing it
•    Medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin will help to reduce swelling and pain.
•    Corticosteroid injections will relieve the stiffness in the joint and the pain especially in conditions such as frozen shoulder and arthritis.
•    Physical therapy includes exercises to improve the strength and range of movement of the shoulder. Massage and application of heat and ice also offer relief.
•    Doctors may suggest surgery to resolve your shoulder pain if you are not able to control it with rest, medications or physical exercise.

What are the surgical options to treat shoulder pain?

Your doctor will recommend a suitable surgical option to treat shoulder pain. The following options are available:
•    Arthroscopy: In this procedure, the doctor will examine the soft tissue injuries using a miniature camera and remove or repair the torn tissue.
•    Open surgery: This is a traditional surgical procedure performed to either replace the shoulder joint or reconstruct it.

Can exercises relieve shoulder pain?

Your doctor may suggest simple stretching exercises to relieve the pain and stiffness. Exercises also improve the flexibility of the joint. You may perform the stretching exercises two to three times a week. The following exercises are helpful:
•    Seated shoulder stretches for the shoulder
•    Seated triceps stretches for the back of the upper arm and shoulder
•    Seated chest stretches for the chest and shoulder

Do nutraceuticals help in managing shoulder pain?

Nutraceuticals are commonly used as supportive therapy. Oral supplements of hydrolyzed type 1 collagen, arginine L-alpha-ketoglutarate, Methyl sulfonyl methane, and bromelain have shown positive effects in repairing tendon injuries.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are some of the dietary supplements that may relieve shoulder pain.
You may experience shoulder pain due to several underlying reasons. You can manage the condition with the help of exercises and medication. Talk to your orthopedic specialist for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.  


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