Some Shoulder Conditions May Become More Common As You Age
You probably don’t think about your shoulders much, until you suddenly experience pain in one of them. Shoulder pain can make a simple act brushing and drying your hair, reaching behind your back to fasten a bra, or grabbing something overhead seem like a monumental task.
As you age, you’re more likely to experience shoulder pain from a variety of common conditions. The pain can come on gradually or abruptly, and it may range from mild to excruciating.
Below are some of the most common conditions you may encounter, and some tips for how to address them.
What to do if your shoulder hurts
If you do experience shoulder pain, it’s not always possible to figure out the cause. Sometimes problems in other parts of the body are actually the source of the pain, which then radiates to your shoulder. This can happen with certain neck problems, including arthritis and disc herniations.
In general, if you are experiencing a lot of pain or know you injured yourself, it’s best to see a doctor right away to have your shoulder condition diagnosed.
But if you have general, mild shoulder pain, try adjusting your activities, taking acetaminophen or an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and performing mild stretches to see if the pain improves on its own. However, if the pain is getting worse or doesn’t go away after a few weeks, you should consult your doctor.
What Is Shoulder Pain That Radiates Down The Arm
Published on: 1st July 2019
Have you ever experienced an ache or pinching sensation in your arm that wont go away?
If so, youre not alone. Persistent arm pain is one of the more common complaints we see here at Chris Bailey Orthopaedics.
Given that we specialise in knees and shoulders, you may find that slightly strange. But then pain is a slippery customer. Just because you feel discomfort in one part of your body doesnt mean the problem originated there. It may be referred, as doctors put it, from somewhere else.
And so it is with arm pain. Quite often, we find that ongoing discomfort in the arm is actually caused by the shoulder. Which can cause confusion during the examination. Why are you focusing on my shoulder? people ask. Youre six inches too high! We can understand the frustration.
Treatment Of Pain In The Left Arm And Shoulder
Treatment will depend on and vary depending on the cause of the Pain:
- Of course, in the case of myocardial infarction, care should be immediately and ideally before 6 hours. The doctor will institute the appropriate treatment after confirming the diagnosis. The patient may warrant admission to a coronary care or intensive care unit depending on the damage found.
- The angina yield with rest and the administration of nitrates, which cause dilation of the arteries involved the Pain disappears immediately to the improved supply of blood and oxygen.
- Bursitis and tendinitis will merit rest of the limb placing sling likely , physical means and muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory analgesics for several weeks, followed by subsequent rehabilitation.
- Treatment of a rotator cuff tear depends on the structures involved. It can vary from simple measures equal to those indicated for bursitis/tendonitis plus physiotherapeutic rehabilitation for a specified time to the need for surgical intervention to repair the damage adequately.
- Treatment of fractures at this level generally involves surgical resolution, involving the placement of osteosynthesis material to ensure adequate fixation of the affected bone.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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Path To Improved Health
Your doctor can help you with a treatment plan to relieve the pain and help you restore your shoulder to normal function. Pain relief strategies include active rest. During active rest, you can and should move your shoulder. Avoid difficult activities like lifting heavy objects or repetitive overhead movements. You may also get relief by applying ice, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen , and, occasionally, an injection of anti-inflammatory steroids. Special exercises may also help.
The first step of rehabilitation therapy is simple range-of-motion exercises. By bending over and moving your shoulder in large circles, you will help to avoid the serious complication of rotator cuff injury, called a frozen shoulder. You should follow these range-of-motion exercises with resistance exercises using rubber tubing or light dumbbells. The final step is resistance training with weight machines or free weights.
Medicine For Left Arm And Shoulder Pain
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , including aspirin or ibuprofen, are frequently used over the counter to treat arm pain. Your physician may prescribe medication to assist reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroid injection, depending on the cause of the discomfort in your arm.
Additionally, your physician might advise a topical painkiller that you apply directly to the skin where you are experiencing pain.
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How Long Does The Left Arm Hurt Before A Heart Attack
If youre experiencing left arm pain, it may be a sign of a heart condition and should be treated as such.
Left arm pain is the most common symptom of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and atherosclerosis.
When diagnosed and treated early, these conditions can often be resolved without any long-term complications or medical bills.
To help relieve pain from left arm pain, try ice packs, elevation therapy, exercise, ibuprofen or naproxen , and natural supplements like ginger or turmeric. Talk to your doctor if the pain persists or gets worse.
Muscle Sprain And Strain
While sprains and strains are both usually caused by sports injury, overuse, or accidents, they are two distinct things:
- A sprain is damage to ligaments the tissue that connects bones together.
- A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon the tissue that attaches muscle to bone.
Both sprains and strains of your shoulder, biceps, and muscles of the forearm will cause pain, swelling, and inflammation. A muscle strain tends to also feature spasms, weakness, or cramping, while both conditions can cause difficulty moving the involved joint.
How to treat it: Mild sprains and strains can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression, elevation, and NSAIDS.
“Many sprains or strains just need a few weeks to recover from. However, with most orthopedic injuries if the pain has not substantially subsided in 3-4 weeks you should seek expert care,” says Robert Anderson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Summit Orthopedics.
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What Does Gallbladder Pain Feel Like
Gallbladder pain can be sudden, intense, and severe.
The most common reason for the pain is gallstones hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form inside your gallbladder. Inflammation or infection of your gallbladder are other possible culprits.
The good news is there are treatments to effectively relieve gallbladder pain.
Read on to learn more about what gallbladder pain feels like and how to alleviate the discomfort.
Your gallbladder is a small sac thats located in your right upper abdomen, just below your liver. According to the Canadian Society for Intestinal Research, your gallbladder stores bile a digestive fluid thats made by your liver.
Treatment For Shoulder Pain When Raising Arms
If you shoulder hurts when lifting your arm, don’t despair. There are lots of things you can do to help reduce shoulder pain when raising your arm, and to regain flexibility if you cant lift your arm, depending on the underlying cause.
Treatment for shoulder pain when lifting arms usually consists of:
- Medication: to reduce pain and inflammation
- Strengthening Exercises: to improve shoulder strength, control and positioning
- Upper Back Stretches: to improve mobility and posture
- Physical Therapy: may involve a combination of joint mobilisations, rehab programme, ultrasound and acupuncture
- Corticosteroid Injections: to reduce pain and inflammation
- Surgery: for more severe injuries, conditions that fail to settle with non-surgical treatment and for bony abnormalities
The main aims of treatment for shoulder pain when lifting arms are to:
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What To Do When A Heart Attack Occurs
If you believe a person is having a heart attack, have them sitting, keep them calm, loosen any tight clothing they may be wearing, have the person take any chest pain medications like nitroglycerin. If pain does not improve within three minutes of taking the medication, call emergency right away. Always call 911 immediately if a person is unconscious.
DO NOT leave the person, have them convince you not to call 911, wait to see if symptoms go away, give the person anything by mouth unless it is a prescribed medication.
Causes And Symptoms Of Right Shoulder And Arm Pain
Posted on by OrthoNYin Shoulder
If you have ever suffered with shoulder pain, you know it can range from simply annoying to severe, and it sometimes moves down your arm towards the elbow. Your shoulder joint is complicated, and pain can emanate from multiple problem areas. Lets discover 7 causes and symptoms of right shoulder and arm painbut there are many more.
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When Should I Go To The Er For Neck And Shoulder Pain
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms with your neck and shoulder pain, then you should go to the ER right away:
What Causes Shoulder Pain
Various factors can cause or contribute to shoulder pain, including:
- Tendon inflammation
- Inflammation of the brachial plexus
Sudden left shoulder pain may be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 and seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing a sudden onset of pressure or pain in your shoulder, chest, or jaw or if the pain is accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, or sweating.
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Diagnosis Of Left Arm And Shoulder
If your arm discomfort is bothersome or prolonged, its crucial to receive a proper diagnosis because it can be a sign of many different diseases. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination, ask specific questions about your signs and activities, and perform a diagnosis to determine the reason for your arm pain. Your doctor will request imaging tests if necessary, which can involve the following:
Magnetism and radio waves are used in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI exam to provide precise images of various bodily parts.
Ultrasound This examination, which employs sound waves to create images of the bodys components, can help to identify compression syndromes such the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Study of Nerve Conduction In order to identify injured nerves, this method monitors nerve impulses while a modest electrical current is delivered.
A needle electrode is inserted into the muscles as part of the electromyography test, which measures the electrical activity of the muscles and can identify damage to the nerves that supply the muscles.
Shoulder And Elbow Treatment
Most shoulder and elbow pain can be cured with R.I.C.E. method . This coupled with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs can help to relieve swelling and reduce pain.
Using a splint, brace or sling helps a particular area of the body to rest until the pain subsides. These shouldnt, however, be used indefinitely as they can lead to lowered flexibility and reduce muscle mass.
If the pain is not residing with conservative treatment your doctor may recommend physical therapy or other treatments, such as injections, that can assist in healing.
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Left Arm Pain: Symptoms Causes And Treatment
Pain in the arms is a common complaint. We use our arms a great deal in everyday life, and the muscles, joints and tendons inside them can all be the cause of this pain. However, arm pain is not always caused by a problem with the arm itself, and may come from elsewhere in the body. In this case, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. If you feel pain in your left arm in particular, it is important to be vigilant because this can be one of the symptoms of a heart attack. It is therefore important to learn to recognise the symptoms in order to tell if a pain in your arm is a cause for concern, and to know when you should seek urgent medical assistance.
Why Is Left Arm Pain So Special
The causes of arm pain are many and are divided into three categories. We have the basic arm pain that can be experienced in any part of the body, then we have injuries that are specific to the left arm, and then the skeletomuscular injuries which can be defined by injuries relating to bones and muscles.
To begin with the most basic injuries, we have:
As previously mentioned, there are some caused that are specific to the left arm. These causes include:
Skeletomuscular injury: In the case where the left arm pain is not due to heart issues it might be due to an issue with muscles or bones. These include:
In order to identify the fact that the pain is not actually due to heart problems, one may experience the following characteristics:
The pain only lasts for a few seconds at a time
The pain characteristic is stabbing
The pain is localized and is only experienced in a small area of the arm
That discomfort is the only symptom that has occurred, and it occurs for a couple of days
Experiencing these characteristics are what prove to one that their pain is skeletomuscular
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Treating Left Arm Pain
If your left arm pain is benign, you can initially treat it by resting, applying a cold compress to the painful area and elevating your arm. If the pain is caused by a fracture, your arm will have to be immobilised in a plaster cast for several weeks. If it is caused by a musculoskeletal issue , treatment may include painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, and physiotherapy. Using one of the OMRON HeatTens range of pain relievers can also help to relieve muscle and joint pain using a combination of soothing heat and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation . If the pain is caused by an underlying heart condition, the treatment may involve taking medication for pain relief, in addition to making some radical changes to your lifestyle. Finally, if someone is having a heart attack, they must receive immediate medical treatment because heart attacks can be fatal and sometimes require surgery if medication alone does not dissolve the clot that is causing the problem.
Wexler, A. . Why do I have a pain in my left arm? Retrieved from www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317652.php
Pietrangelo, A. . Why is there pain in my left arm? Retrieved from www.healthline.com/health/pain-in-left-arm#takeaway
New Health Guide. What causes pain on the left arm? Retrieved from www.newhealthguide.org/Pain-In-Left-Arm.html
Causes Of Shoulder Impingement
When you lift your arm, the rotator cuff tendon passes through a narrow space at the top of your shoulder, known as the subacromial space.
Shoulder impingement happens when the tendon rubs or catches on the bone at the top of this space, called the acromion.
This can be caused by:
- the tendon becoming swollen, thickened or torn this can be due to an injury, overuse of the shoulder or “wear and tear” with age
- the fluid-filled sac found between the tendon and acromion becoming irritated and inflamed this can also be caused by an injury or overuse of the shoulder
- the acromion being curved or hooked, rather than flat this tends to be something you’re born with
- bony growths on the acromion these can develop as you get older
Page last reviewed: 29 April 2020 Next review due: 29 April 2023
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Rotator Cuff Muscle Damage
Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of left shoulder pain. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint and control its movement and stability. Tears can develop gradually over time through wear and tear, typically over the age of 40, or suddenly with an injury typically younger people. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the extent of the tear.
Common Presentation: Sudden or gradual onset of a dull ache deep inside the shoulder and weakness. Activities with the arm above the head or behind the back most commonly affected
You can find out loads more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in the Rotator Cuff Tears section.