01 Jun Shouldering the Burden Too Long?
If you assume a natural posture and look in the mirror, you’ll probably see that one shoulder is higher and/or more forward than the other. Symmetry in the body is nearly impossible, but at Mend Clinic we know there’s a difference between healthy asymmetry and shoulder injuries. About 7.5 million people see a doctor for shoulder pain every year, and over half are rotator cuff problems.
Shoulder Injuries Are Quite Complex
The rotator cuff is a highly mobile, often over-used, region that connects the torso to the upper arm. It has a lot of working parts, small but important muscles, and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, and the labrum. Shoulder injuries are often caused by athletics, especially those that require a lot of overhead motion like weightlifting, tennis, and swimming. However, people who partake in other activities with repetitive overhead reach, such as gardening, are also at a higher risk.
Signs Of Shoulder Injuries
Common signs of a shoulder injury include stiffness and the inability to rotate the shoulder normally. If a shoulder feels unstable, as if it might “pop out” of the socket, that’s a sign of a potential weakness and impending dislocation. A lack of strength or any type of pain is a signal that something isn’t right. The vast majority of shoulder injuries involve connective tissues, not bones. However, that doesn’t make them less serious or easier to treat.
A lot of people will “play through” the pain, which can take a shoulder injury from minor to debilitating. It’s also easy to underestimate how serious a shoulder injury is because the symptoms often come on slowly and are constant. It may feel “normal.” The most common finding is instability, which happens when the shoulder joint isn’t in its normal space. It can be the first stage of dislocation if it isn’t treated.
Impingement is also common, which occurs when a shoulder muscle rubs against the shoulder blade. This inflammation can quickly turn serious if not treated.