Painful shoulder syndrome is a movement disorder. Its manifestation is spontaneous shoulder pain, aggravated by movements in the joint and reducing its mobility. Find out what the most important symptoms of this condition are and how to treat them.
Painful shoulder syndrome - what is it?
Painful Shoulders Syndrome, next to low back pain dysfunction, is one of the most common musculoskeletal system diseases. Pain is associated with abnormalities in the structures involved in the movement of the shoulder, that is, joints, muscles, tendons, and joint capsules. Pain can come on suddenly and for no apparent reason. It may be due to overload or trauma, or it may be due to the presence of systemic illness.
There are many other disorders called this disease. Among them, the most common:
- Local inflammation resulting from overloading or damage to tendons (for example, rupture of the rotator cuff), infection, degenerative changes or autoimmune diseases of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatic),
- Excessive mobility leading to shoulder instability,
- Limitation of mobility, for example, with reactive inflammation of the joints (obliterating capsulitis - PHS),
- Instability, for example, because of inappropriate physical activity.
Painful shoulder syndrome - symptoms
The leading symptom is shoulder pain. It can be of a different nature and severity and causes a limitation of the shoulder joint's mobility. Most often, problems arise with shoulder abduction that is, raising the arm above the shoulder line.
As the disease progresses, the pain increases and the joint range becomes more limited. In extreme, untreated cases, this can lead to a so-called "frozen shoulder".
Patients complain of problems with dressing, brushing teeth, or household chores. Severe pain at night can also cause trouble falling asleep.
How is a painful shoulder treated?
When treating shoulder pain, the key is to correctly identify the source of the symptoms and the severity of the injury. The basis is a properly assembled interview and physical examination. Imaging tests such as x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs may also be required.
6 therapies are most commonly recommended for painful shoulder syndrome.
1. Lifestyle changes
This is primarily to prevent overloading and relieve the load from the shoulder with orthopedic equipment, such as a sling. Do not lie down or sleep on a sore shoulder.
2. Use of pharmacological agents.
These are anti-inflammatory and pain relievers (ibuprofen, diclofenac, meloxicam) or muscle relaxants.
3. Application of physical procedures.
Physical treatments are primarily aimed at anti-inflammatory effects and pain relief. They stimulate the regeneration of soft tissues, loosen damaged structures, or improve their blood supply. It is worth getting interested in cryotherapy, iontophoresis, via dynamic currents, magnetic field therapy, ultrasound, laser therapy, or electrical stimulation.
It involves performing therapeutic exercises, preferably with a physical therapist, who establishes the correct exercise program.
This is nothing more than covering the shoulder joint with flexible adhesives with a special structure. Athletes often use dynamic taping - as we also call it -. It clearly relieves pain and increases joint mobility.
6. Invasive methods
In the name of the principle that all long-term pain is harmful, the doctor may resort to measures that are more radical. Sometimes, to reduce excruciating pain and stop the inflammatory process, it is necessary to use the so-called joint blockade - an injection of a local anesthetic in combination with a steroid. In addition, a procedure for blocking the brachial plexus or thermal damage to the suprascapular nerve is performed.
If conservative treatment is ineffective or the disease continues to recur, surgery may be the best method.