Shoulder pain

The shoulder joint has a complex structure that can move in many directions. The shoulder joint moves in 3 planes and works in harmony. The head of the shoulder stays in balance in the air with the muscle, tendon and joint capsule. As the age progresses, weakening of the muscles, strains, etc. For reasons, this harmonious work is disrupted. The joint space narrows. Degeneration begins with friction. Shoulder pain is one of the most common muscle and joint problems. Shoulder pain may develop due to disorders arising from the muscles, tendons, bones and adjacent soft tissues forming the shoulder joints. Shoulder pain is more common in women. Those with additional diseases such as diabetes and thyroid are more prone. It is more common especially in those who work with repetitive arm and shoulder movements, those who do overhead activities such as paint jobs, and housewives (wiping glass, putting on curtains, etc.). In addition, it facilitates the formation of sports activities such as basketball, volleyball and weightlifting.

The pain usually increases at night. It radiates from the shoulder to the outer side of the arm. Therefore, it is confused with neck pain (40%). The pain increases with lying on the shoulder, arm movement. The person has difficulty in daily activities such as washing his face, combing his hair, and dressing. The person starts to use the painful arm less. Pain immobility increases pain. With the gradual decrease in hand and arm functions, functional loss begins, quality of life and comfort begin to decline. If left untreated, frozen shoulder syndrome may develop.

Shoulder pain can begin as a sudden and severe pain or as a slow course. Sudden onset pain is usually caused by traumatic causes, is of muscle-tendon origin and is more common in young people. Slow-onset pain is mostly of degenerative origin and develops due to overuse and inflammation.

With a detailed history and examination, the origin of the pain can be determined. If necessary, the diagnosis is confirmed with additional examinations. After the diagnosis of chronic pain of degenerative origin, the daily life activities of the person are arranged in a way to prevent injury.

Depending on the severity, duration, and loss of function of the pain, pain control is provided with rest, medication, cold-hot applications, joint injections, electrotherapy methods used in physical therapy, and joint range of motion is increased with appropriate exercise programs, and the muscles are treated by strengthening.

In the early stages, the treatment is easier, the treatment period is shorter and it is satisfactory. In delayed and chronic cases, treatment is more difficult and takes a long time. If frozen shoulder has developed, the treatment will be longer. Surgical intervention may be required. For this reason, it is important to consult a physician at an early stage in shoulder pain.

Dr. Filiz GENGOR

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist

Tınaztepe Galen Hospital


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