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Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can present in various forms, ranging from a traumatic injury to an overuse type of injury and poor posture.

We will go over a few types of shoulder pain.

Traumatic shoulder injury can occur from falling on an outstretched arm, or a sporting injury such as being checked in hockey into the boards. When traumatic accidents like this happen, they often result in shoulder problems such as:

Shoulder pain hurts!

Fall on outstretched arm in baseball.
  • Rotator Cuff injury, including:
    • Rotator cuff strain,
    • Rotator cuff partial thickness tear,
    • Rotator cuff full thickness tear.
  • Fractures of the humerus (ball of joint) or acromion (socket),
  • Dislocations and subluxations
  • Acromioclavicular (AC) joint separations or ligament sprains,
  • Labral tears (cartilage-like injury).

Fall on outstretched arm in baseball.

Non-traumatic shoulder injuries are usually the result of overuse from sport, work, or household activities. This overuse type of injury can simply be from overdoing it beyond fatigue, or lifting something too heavy. This type of shoulder injury can include:

  • Rotator Cuff tendonitis,
  • Impingement syndromes (painful arc - pain through arc of arm movement)
  • Other types of Tendonitis - long head of biceps for example,
  • Bursitis, including Subacromial Bursitis,
  • Joint irritation - glenohumeral joint or AC joint.
Poor Work Posture with shoulders sitting forward.
Poor Work Posture with shoulders sitting forward.

Other non-traumatic shoulder injuries can result from poor posture at work or in sport.

With poor posture, the shoulder tends to move forward in the socket. This goes with forward head posture, or slouching. When this happens, the ball sits forward slightly in the socket and the shoulder blade does not control the position of the shoulder very well. Often, the shoulder blade will wing out or droop downwards. This can lead to chronic stress on the tendons, muscles and joints and lead to pain and dysfunctional movement.Often times, this chronic stress can also lead to wear and tear, or degenerative changes within the tissues themselves. If the rotator cuff tendons become weakened from chronic stress from poor posture, then they will be more likely to tear with a traumatic type of injury. This can get worse as we get older.

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