The main causes of shoulder pain
AAOS reports about 23,000 people have shoulder replacement surgery each year. This compares to more that 700,000 Americans a year who have knee and hip replacement surgery*. Many shoulder issues are a result of injury to the soft tissues of the shoulder, overuse or underuse of the shoulder or even because of damage to the tissues.
Shoulder problems usually result in pain, which may be felt in the joint or in areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Damage to the shoulder joint may result in instability of the joint, and pain is often felt when raising the arm or when soft tissues are trapped between the bones, causing shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement is fairly common in sports activities that involve repetitive overhead arm motions, such as baseball or tennis.
Signs of a shoulder injury:
- Your shoulder feels stiff and doesn’t allow full normal movement
- Your shoulder doesn’t have the strength to perform your daily activities
- Your shoulder feels as if it’s slipping out of place or you have a “popping” or a feeling that your arm is sliding out of the shoulder socket
Arthritis is another cause of shoulder pain. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). It also sometimes known as degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition from the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. OA is mostly the result of a shoulder injury, but can occur without a shoulder injury as well. However, it is rare for OA to occur without an injury since the shoulder is not a weight-bearing joint such as the knee or hip. Shoulder OA commonly develops many years following a shoulder injury, such as a dislocation, that has led to joint instability and damage.
*AAOS.org — January 2006.