Shoulder injuries most commonly occur in athletes participating in sports such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. The injuries are caused due to the over usage or repetitive motion of the arms.
Shoulder injuries cause pain, stiffness, restricted movements, difficulty in performing routine activities, and popping sensation.
Some of the common shoulder injuries include sprains and strains, dislocations, tendonitis, bursitis, rotator cuff injury, fractures, and arthritis.
- Sprains and strains: A sprain is a common injury which involves stretching or tearing of ligaments (tissues that connect adjacent bones in a joint. A strain is stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon (tissues that connect muscle to bone). These are common in people participating in sports. Strains are usually caused by twisting or pulling of the tendons.
- Dislocations: A shoulder dislocation is an injury that occurs when the ends of the bone are forced out of its position. It is often caused by a fall or direct blow to the joint while playing contact sport. It is common in AFL, rugby and sometimes with work injuries.
- Tendonitis: It is an inflammation of a tendon, a tissue that connects muscles to bone. It occurs because of injury or overuse.
- Bursitis: It is an inflammation of fluid filled sac called bursa that protects and cushions your joints. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, injury, arthritis, gout, or infection.
- Rotator cuff injury: The rotator cuff consists of tendons and muscles that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. Rotator cuff muscles allow you to move your arm up and down. Rotator cuff injuries often cause pain, weakness and in late cases a decreased range of motion.
- Fractures: A fracture is a break in the bone that commonly occurs because of injury, such as a fall or a direct blow to the shoulder.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of shoulder arthritis, characterised by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint.
Early treatment is necessary to prevent serious shoulder injuries. The immediate mode of treatment recommended for shoulder injuries is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Professor Bain may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce the swelling and pain.
Professor Bain may recommend a series of exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles and to regain shoulder movement.