Shoulder Pain in New York City
Shoulder pain is a debilitating condition causing countless hours of lost productivity and a reduced quality of life. Understanding the anatomy of the shoulder, as well as causes of shoulder pain, can help patients better understand musculoskeletal conditions that are best threated by an orthopaedic doctor.
Three different bones compose the shoulder: the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collarbone). With tendons and muscles attaching it to the joint, the head of the humerus fits into a rounded socket in the scapula. These surrounding muscles and tendons comprise the rotator cuff, which is the part of the shoulder that helps with circular motion of the arm.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
The most common causes of shoulder pain include:
- Tendon inflammation
- Tendon tear
- Bone fractures
- Shoulder dislocation
- Joint separation
Shoulder pain is often caused by a traumatic or repetitive sports injury; however, patients can experience soreness after doing other activities such as heavy lifting, painting, and activities that require lifting the arms.
Symptoms of Shoulder Pain
The most common shoulder pain symptoms include:
- Pain (during sleep)
- Limited motion
Common Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder problems typically involve the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the joint, as opposed to the bones. Athletes are very vulnerable to these shoulder injuries, due to repetitive and intensive motion, such as throwing a baseball or lifting weights.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles and tendons that attach to the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff also helps the shoulder with its circular motion. Damage to the rotator cuff is one of the most common shoulder injuries – particularly for athletes playing baseball or tennis. This injury causes pain, sensitivity, and a limited range of motion, as well as an inability to comfortably lift the arm.
The labrum is a piece of cartilage that forms a cup at the end of the humerus to make movement smoother. This thick cartilaginous tissue is commonly injured by trauma to the shoulder, such as falling forward off of a bicycle. While labral tears usually result of overuse in sports, this injury also commonly occurs with aging. If torn, patients usually experience an aching sensation and pain.
Shoulder dislocation is a common sports injury occurring when the top of the arm bone disconnects from, or loses contact with, the socket of the scapula. This injury usually occurs when the patient experiences a fall or a sports-related injury. The usual symptoms are shoulder pain and limited range of motion. Oftentimes the patient may experience the arm held at the side, slightly away from the body.
Depending on the patient’s unique case of shoulder injury, symptoms associated with any of the conditions mentioned above can be treated in a number of ways. For instance, activity modification combined with rest and physical therapy can often solve the problem. In other cases, medications can help reduce the inflammation and pain.
Surgical options for shoulder pain treatment include shoulder arthroscopic surgery, a procedure in which the orthopaedic surgeon inserts a camera through a small incision to view the inside of the shoulder joint. If the shoulder can be repaired, the surgeon will insert small instruments to remove scar tissue, or to repair the torn muscles and tendons.
Shoulder Pain Treatment in New York City
Dr. Haar specializes in sports medicine treatment, and is skilled in treatment of the debilitating effects of musculoskeletal shoulder pain. Dr. Haar is considered an arthroscopic specialist by his peers in the New York region, and provides world-class, minimally invasive care. Find out more about Dr. Haar’s Upper East Side New York office to schedule an appointment for a consultation.