Expert treatment for shoulder injuries and conditions
We ask alot of our shoulders as we go about our daily activities. As the joints that connect our arms to the upper body, we need a healthy shoulder to perform nearly any task, from driving to typing to lifting objects. When chronic shoulder pain develops, it can be extremely disruptive to your quality of life, getting in the way of work, family time and leisure pursuits.
Fortunately, with the right treatment, it is possible to overcome shoulder pain and get back to the people and activities you’ve been missing. USA Spine Care has created the following overview of the shoulder injuries and conditions we treat to help you learn more about how the shoulder functions and how pain develops so you can get started on the path to relief.
We’re here to help and welcome you to reach out at any time if you have questions or want more information about treatment.
Shoulder anatomy overview
The shoulder is a relatively complex joint consisting of an array of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments that work together to perform all of the intricate arm mechanics we need to carry out basic tasks. When you think of all the movements the shoulder makes possible, it becomes easy to appreciate how important this joint is.
What bones are in the shoulder?
- Humerus — Also called the upper arm bone, the top of the humerus forms the ball that fits into the shoulder socket.
- Scapula — Also called the shoulder blade, the scapula is a very large bone that holds the shoulder socket near the top.
- Clavicle — Also called the collarbone, the clavicle extends from the top of the sternum to the upper shoulder, providing stability.
Surrounding the shoulder joint is a group of four muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff. As the name implies, the rotator cuff enables rotational movement while also providing stability.
What are the muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff?
- Infraspinatus — The primary shoulder muscle that allows for rotating and extending the shoulders.
- Supraspinatus — Stabilizes the humerus and rest of the upper arm while allowing for lifting.
- Subscapularis — This muscle and tendon helps attach the humerus to the scapula and enables straightening, lowering and extension of the arm.
- Teres minor — The smallest part of the rotator cuff helps to rotate the arm away from the body.
How does shoulder pain develop?
Any joint that has to withstand as much stress as the shoulder while being so intricately constructed and frequently used will have a high risk of developing a number of injuries and degenerative conditions.
Injuries can occur due to trauma such as a fall or collision or can be due to repetitive movements such as lifting objects or twisting tools or devices. These injuries can affect the soft tissue, including the rotator cuff, causing strains, sprains and tears, or they can affect the bones in the form of fractures.
The shoulder is also prone to developing degenerative and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. While the most common form of shoulder arthritis is osteoarthritis that is caused by the natural breakdown of cartilage, rheumatoid arthritis is another form that can develop. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is still not fully understood by medical researchers, although there are believed to be genetic and environmental factors involved.
The most common shoulder injuries and conditions
The orthopedic experts at USA Spine Care have extensive experience treating the following conditions that cause shoulder pain and disability:
- Shoulder arthritis — There are many forms of arthritis that can affect the shoulder, including posttraumatic arthritis, but the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Shoulder osteoarthritis — Osteoarthritis is joint inflammation caused by the natural aging process that causes breakdown of protective joint cartilage. Shoulder osteoarthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness and popping sensations.
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder — Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells, particularly joint tissue. A common indicator of rheumatoid arthritis is symptoms on both sides of the body.
- Rotator cuff tears — The rotator cuff muscles and ligaments are relatively small and delicate tissue that absorb tremendous stress, leading to a high likelihood of tears due to injury and overuse.
- Shoulder Fractures — The bones that make up the shoulder can break in several locations, requiring varying treatments depending on the location.
- Other Shoulder Conditions — Injuries and conditions such as bursitis, dislocation, sprains and shoulder impingement can all be debilitating and require treatment.
Reach out to our caring and dedicated team today
No matter what the cause of your shoulder pain is, the caring and dedicated team at USA Spine Care can help. From highly experienced physical therapists and interventional physicians to orthopedic surgeons, we have an interdisciplinary team that can help you develop a personalized treatment plan to help you regain your quality of life and activity level.
Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627