What is Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain is one of the more common reasons for physician visits for musculoskeletal symptoms. The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. However, it is an unstable joint because of the range of motion allowed. This instability increases the likelihood of joint injury, often leading to a degenerative process in which tissues break down and no longer function well.
Shoulder pain may be localized or may be deferred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Disease within the body (such as gallbladder, liver, or heart disease, or disease of the cervical spine of the neck) also may generate pain that the brain may interpret as arising from the shoulder. Conversely, pain felt in the region of the shoulder blade or scapula nearly always has its origin in the neck
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Common causes of shoulder pain include, but are not limited to:
- Arthritis: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis.
- Bursitis (swelling of the bursa sacs, which protect the shoulder)
- Tendinitis (swelling of tendons)
- Bone spurs (bony projections that develop along the edges of bones)
- Torn cartilage
The shoulder is a joint that gets a particular amount of use, so there are many more causes of shoulder pain. Your physician can assist in determining the cause of your shoulder pain, and the best course-of-action for treatment.