The shoulder region is comprised of several joints, combined with muscles and tendons, to allow motion of the arm.
What makes up the shoulder?
The shoulder joint consist of three bones:
the humerus which is the upper arm bone
scapula which is the shoulder blade
the clavicle which is the collar bone
The head of the upper arm bone is designed to fit in the round socket in the shoulder blade. This socket is called the glenoid. The muscles and tendons act in unison to help keep the bone of the arm centered in the socket.
What is shoulder pain?
Any pain that arises in the shoulder area is considered shoulder pain. The origin may be the shoulder or any muscles surrounding it.
Shoulder pain is divided into six categories, as defined by the American Academy of Family Physicians:
“(1) rotator cuff disorders, including tendinosis, full or partial thickness tears, or calcific tendinitis; (2) adhesive capsulitis; (3) glenohumeral osteoarthritis; (4) glenohumeral instability; (5) acromioclavicular joint pathology; and (6) other chronic pain, including less common shoulder problems and non-shoulder problems.” source
Diagnosis and screening of shoulder pain
A physical examination will include inspection and palpitation in the area, assessment of the pain symptoms presented by the patient, and a diagnostic range-of-motion test. Previous medical history will be used to determine and identify any causes of symptomatic pain.
X-rays will be used to take real-time images of any bone tissue that may contain a fracture or abnormality. Other diagnostic imaging may be used such as an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan.
What are the causes of shoulder pain?
Bursitis – bursas are small sacs filled with fluid located in the joints. They reduce friction between the bone-gliding muscles by acting as cushions. Excessive use of the shoulder results in the swelling of the bursa (bursitis) which can lead to pain in the shoulders.
Tendinitis – tendons are long cords to connect muscle to bone. Over a period of time, tendons can become irritated or inflamed, resulting in tendinitis.
How is shoulder pain treated at the best San Antonio pain clinics?
Shoulder doctors in San Antonio offer customized pain management which may include the following:
Medical intervention – the San Antonio pain physician may prescribe medications which may include oral or topical NSAIDS, narcotics, numbing agents.
Physical therapies may be included in the course of treatment, such as bracing, massage, acupuncture, and electrical simulation therapy with a TENS unit.