If something goes wrong with you shoulder, don’t ignore it. It can cause a great deal of discomfort and affect your body’s ability to make a move freely. Even if you have mild shoulder pain, seek medical advice right away as shoulder disorders can lead to severe pain if left untreated.

Find out what is causing the pain and whether physical therapy or hot or cold compresses can help. Let’s take a closer look at common shoulder problems and what might be causing them.

Common Shoulder Disorders

The shoulder comprises muscles, tendons and joints which normally allow a huge range of motion in the arm. As we age, wear and tear in any part of the shoulder can lead to stiffness, weakness and/or pain. Most shoulder disorders are categorized as tendon inflammation, instability, arthritis or fracture.

Therapist helping senior man with shoulder disorders

Fluid-filled sacs in the shoulder joints act as cushions between bones and soft tissue. If they become inflamed or swell due to overuse or repetitive actions, you can develop bursitis. Severe cases of this common shoulder disorder are not only painful but make the simple tasks of daily living difficult.

Tendons are thick flexible cords that attach muscles to bones and are vital for shoulder mobility. In older people they may split, or become inflamed through wear and tear, or due to a repetitive strain injury. In this case the best remedy is resting the arm and the shoulder. Specialists often recommend physical therapy or ice packs, depending on their diagnosis.

Causes of shoulder problems

Wear and tear of the four rotator cuff tendons are often the cause of shoulder disorders. These tendons cover the top of your upper arm bone and keep it from popping out of the shoulder socket. Problems and pain in your rotator cuff can affect shoulder motion and stability.

Furthermore, a sudden injury or overuse of the shoulder can lead to shoulder instability. This can happen when the top of the upper arm is forced out of its socket.

A perhaps surprising cause of shoulder disorders is when people have osteoarthritis and avoid shoulder movements to lessen pain. This can, in fact, make matters worse by tightening or stiffening the soft tissue around the joint.

Seek medical assistance

Shoulder disorders can lead to severe pain so don’t hesitate to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Doctors seeing patients with shoulder pain invariably ask about their medical history. That’s because your medical history could indicate what is exacerbating your pain.

A doctor will diagnose the type of shoulder disorder and may recommend physical therapy and/or rest. He or she may also prescribe over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ease pain.

Haym Salomon Home for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Brooklyn NY has physical therapists who are well versed in treating a range of shoulder problems. Rest assured that if you have a broken or other shoulder issues, we know how to look after you. Many of our patients with shoulder disorders have spoken of the beneficial treatments they received at Haym Salomon Home.

This content comprises informative and educational resources only and can not be considered as a substitute for professional health or medical guidance. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk. If you have any inquiries or apprehensions about your medical condition or health goals, talk with a licensed physician or healthcare provider.