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Shoulder Trauma

Shoulder injuries most commonly occur in athletes participating in sports such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting, or at work as a result of repetitive overhead activities. The injuries are caused due to over usage.

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, tendinitis, bursitis, rotator cuff injury, fractures, and arthritis.

  • Sprains and strains: A sprain is stretching or tearing of ligaments (tissues that connect adjacent bones in a joint). These are common injuries and usually occur when you fall or suddenly twist. A strain is stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon (tissues that connect muscle to bone). It is 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.
  • Tendinitis: Is inflammation of a tendon, a tissue that connects muscles to bone. It occurs frequently as a result of injury or overuse.
  • Bursitis: Is an inflammation of fluid filled sac called “bursa”. Bursae usually protects a boney prominence from rubbing against skin or a fibrous tissue. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, injury, gout or other crystal deposition disease, penetrating injury, or infection.
  • Rotator cuff injury: The rotator cuff consists of tendons and muscles that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. Coordinated action of the rotator cuff muscles is necessary for shoulder movement. Rotator cuff injuries often result in painful and diminished 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, characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint.

Early treatment is necessary to prevent serious shoulder injuries. The immediate treatment recommended for shoulder injuries is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Dr Hocking may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce the swelling and pain.

Dr Hocking might recommend a series of exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles and to regain shoulder movement.