Shoulder-Arm Injury

What Happens When We Sustain Musculoskeletal Shoulder-Arm Injuries (MSI)

If your shoulder is badly hurt, you will have a challenging time pulling or pushing anything heavy and even light objects.
According to a particular study with elite powerlifters, the most commonly injured areas when lifting iron are the shoulders, lower back, and knees. The  Elite Powerlifters study also found that people older than 40, have greater chances of injury. However, powerlifting as a sport has an injury rate “low compared to other sports.” Olympic weightlifters tend to get more back, and knee injuries whereas powerlifters tend to get more shoulder injuries.

Anatomy of The Shoulder

The shoulder is made up of three bones: The humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula, (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collar bone). The articulations of these three bones make up three main shoulder joints. There are about a dozen major muscles (such as deltoids) that collaborate in shoulder movement as well with minor muscles and tendons (fibrous tissue connecting muscles to bones).

The Shoulder’s Rotator Cuff and Bursae

Shouldee Brace

Shoulder Brace by Vive -Rotator Cuff Support-Amazon

The main shoulder joint is called the glenohumeral joint which is a ball and socket structure where the shoulder blade attaches to the upper arm bone. A rotator cuff covers this ball and socket joint to keep it tight and in place with a group of 4 muscles and their associated tendons. The four rotator cuff muscles are called the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis; each of these, serving different functions to move the upper arm bone (humerus) in various directions within the socket (glenoid fossa).

At the top of the shoulder is a bone called the acromion which is an extension of the shoulder blade (scapula). It hooks from around the back to the top. Between the acromion and the rotator cuff is a synovial fluid-filled sac called a bursa that cushions and buffers the acromion from the rotator cuff’s movements. There are eight such bursae located at different points about the shoulder girdle.

Shoulder Injuries and Causes

The rotator cuff is the most common source of shoulder pain, including any problem underneath the acromion bone. A health care professional specializing in sports injuries may be the best one to diagnose the exact cause. They will check the different movements that give you shoulder pain and test your range of motion. Whenever you raise your arm, the space between the acromion and the rotator cuff becomes smaller; this may cause the acromion to push or impinge against the bursa which can swell and become inflamed.

Athletes who use repetitive overhead movements such as baseball pitchers, volleyball players, swimmers or golfers are more subject to this kind of injuries.

When it comes to sport such as powerlifting, one study shows there is no correlation between shoulder injuries and any particular exercise. It can also occur in the workplace with painters, plumbers, electricians or anyone using repetitive movements overhead.

If the rotator cuff itself is injured, then it may be a tear. There are two types of tears: Chronic and Acute. A chronic tear occurs over time because of overuse and usually after a tendon has been rubbing against a bone for awhile. An acute tear is the result of a sudden movement. The shoulder is one of those areas of the body where this is little blood circulation. If an injured tendon sustains microscopic tears and does not get an adequate supply of blood to heal,  could lead to degeneration. This condition. However, is usually related more to age and overuse than it is a result of trauma or sports injury.

The Shoulder Is The Most Unstable Joint In The Body !

Many times the cause of a shoulder injury is because there is too much play in the ball and socket joint. One of the primary functions is to provide stability to movements using the arm. If your shoulder is unstable, you will develop problems. Make sure your condition is evaluated before you start doing a lot of laterals with dumbbells.
Your health care professional will be the indicated person to give you a few exercises to do for your rotator cuff.

Treatment For Shoulder Musculoskeletal Injuries.

To get a better look at the possible damage to your shoulder, your doctor may suggest arthroscopic surgery.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery where a small incision is made in your shoulder, and then they look around inside with an arthroscope ( an arthroscope is about the diameter of a drinking straw. fitted with a miniature camera).
Your doctor can see whatever damage there is and help you make a decision about what options are available.

Advantages of Arthroscopy.

•less pain after the operation
•Faster healing time
•lower risk of infection

•Often performed as outpatient and you can go home the same day
•Retuning to normal activities more quickly

If you suffer an acute trauma to your shoulder, perform the first aid procedure known as R.I.C.E. and see a health care professional immediately, or as soon as possible.

*R= Rest – Stop using the afflicted part.

* I=Ice – 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off for an hour (or whatever feels comfortable).

* C=Compress – Wrap a compression bandage around the injury. Applying compression may keep down the swelling.

*E= Elevate – Keep the injured part propped up and elevated above the level of your heart. Elevation will help keep down the swelling.

Recovery After Shoulder Injuries

Recovery usually always begins with plenty of rest. When continuing with your weight training program, follow some key do’s and do not’s such as warming up with as many sets as it takes to get blood circulation going. The shoulder should feel good before you start a working set. Start off with lighter weight before you are capable of handling anything heavy. Do shoulder stretches after a workout.

Know the difference between shoulder soreness discomfort and the pain of an injury. If you have any doubts about a shoulder injury, then see a doctor.

Living With Shoulder Pain Is No Fun

Nobody wants to consider the possibility of suffering a life-altering disability. Losing functionality or motion in the arm or shoulder can be devastating to the quality of life. Loss of movement and consistently severe pain are some of the impacts that a joint injury can cause.

Being aware of how Shoulder-Arm Pain happens and the different kinds of treated can give you a better understanding of your recovery.

Shoulder-arm pain is often caused by some accidental trauma or impact and can be of various levels of intensity which will determine the severity of the injury. Many times, various factors such as the general state of health of the patient such as fitness, activity level, age, bone density to name a few, will play a role in how serious the patient’s injury is.

The first step to a comprehensive and accurate diagnosis is to understand the patient’s history and physical situation. During the early stages of diagnostics, the patient will be asked about their past and medical history to get a feel for possible causes of Health and Wellness. These questions will help give a broad spectrum of possibilities and narrow down the potential problems.

Causes of Shoulder-Arm Pain

In most situations, Shoulder Arm Pain is caused by some accidental trauma and can come in a wide variety of severities and scenarios. In many cases, the injury is derived from a wide array of factors such as patient age, fitness level, bone density and the patient’s aptitude for physical activity. All of these factors combined often dictate the standard of injury that a patient suffers.

Shoulder Dislocation.

Could be because of a fall or a sharp blow to the top of the shoulder resulting in shoulder arm pain. Diagnosis is by taking X-ray with the patient holding a light weight that pulls on the muscles thereby making the separation more pronounced. Diagnosis is made by physical examination which includes primarily the looking of loss of rounded structure of the shoulder and X-ray. The treatment for shoulder dislocation is reduction under anesthesia.

Most common symptoms of a dislocated shoulder.

  • Pain in the upper arm and shoulder, which is usually worse during attempts at movement
    Dislocated Shoulder By Hellerhoff

    Dislocated Shoulder. Wikipedia commons
    Picture by Hellerhoff

  • Decreased motion
  • Swelling
  • Numbness, Tingling and weakness
  • Bruising
  • Deformity of the shoulder (in a forward dislocation)

Injuries that involve the real bone of the joint may be far more severe and debilitating. These kinds of injuries are, commonly, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and overall weakness. Bone related injuries are usually much more painful and may require extensive measures to full recovery.

The shoulder is a complicated part of the body, and many factors are often involved in its injury. Shoulder Arm Pain can most commonly be caused by a combination of traits, including patient age, overall fitness level, bone density and the degree of physical activity that the patient routinely engages in. Assessing all of these aspects is crucial for diagnosis.

Most commonly doctors tend to treat and reduce Shoulder Pain with analgesics and medicine. Immobilizing of the affected muscle may be required. Always remember to follow your doctor’s orders.

Information, primarily, form  Benchmark Physiotherapy Sydney and other medical sources.

Lisa

lisa@injuryanprevention.com