Shoulder injuries are very common thanks to overuse and the complex shoulder joint and girdle. From sports injuries to work-related injuries, there are many ways the shoulder can get damaged. Take a look at the most common shoulder injuries seen at Mend Clinic in Salem, Oregon. And we invite you to learn more about types of orthopedic injuries we treat, read reviews, and see why patients choose Mend Clinic as their ER alternative in Salem, Oregon. Book your appointment online, walk-in, or call (971) 204-8410.
Sprains happen when the ligaments are overstretched or torn (strains happen in muscles). Ligaments are the connective tissues that join bone to bone, and in the shoulder there are many ligaments. The shoulder isn’t a single joint, but comprised of many small joints. There are four major bones that make up the shoulder joint, including the scapula, acromion, collarbone, and breastbone. Ligaments connect them all, and a shoulder sprain can occur at any of these ligaments.
Shoulder sprains can happen from a sports injury, work-related injury (especially if lifting is involved), or simple activities of daily living. Two of the possible ligament injuries are classified into one of three “grades.” The most severe, grade 3, may require shoulder surgery. It depends on the location of the sprain, the severity, and how long the patient waited for treatment. This is why seeking orthopedic care for a shoulder sprain is critical.
Contrary to popular belief, the rotator cuff isn’t one bone, but a collection of three bones and four muscles including the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. This extremely common injury has become even more popular because of sports injuries and an increased interest in demanding activities, like Crossfit. The rotator cuff itself also includes a number of muscles and tendons at the shoulder joint. The most common symptom is a dull shoulder ache that can get worse when sleeping on it.
Rotator cuff injuries are most often caused by repetitive stress injuries involving overhead motions and sports moves. Painters, athletes, and carpenters often experience rotator cuff injuries, and the odds of this injury increase with age. If a rotator cuff injury evolves into a rotator cuff tear, immediate medical attention is required and surgery may be needed.
Arm and shoulder tendonitis happens when a tendon is inflamed. Tendons connect muscle to bone, and one of the most intentionally overworked muscles in the body is the brachial (arm) bicep. The bicep tendon is a large connective tissue in charge of connecting the muscle to the shoulder bones. It presents as pain at the front of the shoulder and weakness. There are three bicep tendons, one that connects both heads to the elbow joint and two that attach the “long head” and “short head” to the shoulder bones. However, bicep tendinitis is an inflammation of the long head of the bicep tendon. It might be swollen or red in early stages, turning into a dark red hue as inflammation increases. Tendonitis can turn into a tendon tear and eventually an arm deformity a la “Popeye” if left untreated.
A shoulder dislocation is caused when a bone or bones get forced from their normal position. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the entire body, able to move in a number of directions. This makes it prone to dislocation, whether it’s a partial (subluxation) or complete dislocation. Both can cause intense pain, and are often brought on by sports injuries. Dislocated shoulders are often paired with torn ligaments and tendons, which can damage the nerves. A shoulder can be dislocated forward, backward, or downward, but the most common is forward. Never try to re-align a dislocated shoulder yourself. Seek immediate medical attention.
The arm is comprised of three bones and any of those bones may be fractured or broken. An arm fracture, or broken bone in the arm, is often very painful. It might be an open (bone breaks through the skin) or closed fracture, and the arm may or may not look deformed. However, since bones in the arm are large and long, it’s especially important to seek immediate medical attention to ensure proper, fast healing. Arm fractures are often caused by sports injuries, slip and falls, and car accidents.
Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints in the U.S. However, the shoulder is a complex joint comprised of many bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Shoulder pain might be caused by a rotator cuff injury or tear, dislocated shoulder, broken bone or fracture, torn or sprained ligament, strained muscle, nerve damage, shoulder laceration, or be caused by an injury in another part of the body. Never overlook shoulder pain. It could be a sign of a more serious condition.
Shoulders are often taken for granted because they’re strong, flexible, and used for a variety of tasks, from playing sports to job-related activities. However, a shoulder injury can be debilitating and very painful. Book an appointment online and take the first step towards treating and relieving shoulder pain. Give Mend Clinic a call today to talk with our team and schedule a detailed evaluation – (971) 204-8410.