Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Learning About Shoulder Overuse Injury

By Brian Book

If you engage in a type of work or a hobby requiring repetitive arm motion, you may develop shoulder overuse injury. If you are a victim of shoulder overuse injury, you are aware that it causes intense pain.

Some of the modern technological devices we use can cause us shoulder overuse injury. Constant use of the computer mouse or playing computer games can cause this condition. It is not uncommon in the medical profession, where practitioners can suffer because of the frequent heavy lifting when moving patients. In the world of sport, golfers are vulnerable to damaging the rotator cuff muscles.

The Shoulder

Your shoulder provides the link between three bones. These are the humerus bone in the upper arm, the collarbone or clavicle, and the shoulder blade or scapula.

These bones are surrounded by tendons, muscles and ligaments that form portions of two important joints: the acromioclavicular joint is located between the clavicle and scapula; between the glenoid and humerus is the glenohumeral joint.

Rotator cuff injury is a frequent ailment that arises from overuse of the shoulder. The three most common disorders of the rotator cuff are rotator cuff impingement syndrome, tendonitis, and tearing.

The Rotator Cuff

Surrounding the shoulder joint there are four muscles, collectively known as the rotator cuff, that stabilize the shoulder joint. Additionally, four small tendons come together to form the rotator cuff tendon, which is joined to the humerus.

The rotator cuff tendon runs through the subacromial space, which is a gap under the acrominon. The acrominon is the highest point of the scapula or shoulder blade.

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Pinching, or impingement, in the shoulder joint can occur if you strain the joint, or subject it to repetitive movements over an extended period of time.

When tendons become impinged, this can induce inflammation known as tendonitis. Impingement of the rotator cuff tendon can occur where the tendon goes through the subacromial space.

Bursitis is a condition that arises when a bursa becomes inflamed as a result of impingement. A bursa is a type of sac filled with fluid, and its role is to protect bones and tendons.

What are Common Symptoms of Shoulder Overuse?

If your rotator cuff is damaged, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

1) Shooting pains affect the front or back of the shoulder. 2) The muscles in the shoulder and upper arm, or those on the outside of the upper arm, hurt. 3) Pain in the shoulder hinders sleeping. 4) Moving the shoulder is painful.

Shoulder overuse injury tends to develop over time, and the symptoms will become progressively worse if the condition is left untreated. Symptoms of shoulder overuse injury include:

- Sore shoulder when you get up in the mornings - Front and top of shoulder manifests pain - Pain heightens when lifting or reaching higher than shoulder level - Most pain experienced when arm is extended - Swelling/Numbness and/or tingling - Restricted range of motion - Shoulder muscles weaker

Treating Shoulder Injuries

Normally, you will be advised to try non-invasive treatment as a first step. You will be advised to rest the joint, and avoid repetitive movement. You may be prescribed anti-inflammatory, NSAID drugs. Ice packs are sometimes helpful.

Your doctor may also prescribe ultrasound therapy to improve blood flow to the affected tissues. You might have physical therapy and do stretching and strengthening exercises at home. Your doctor may give you a cortisone injection.

If these treatments fail to cure the condition, it may be necessary to undergo surgery.

About the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment