If there is pain and stiffness on your shoulder or if you feel it difficult to rotate your arm in all directions, then you may have shoulder injury. Sometimes you may feel weakness in your shoulder and discomfort in carrying out routine tasks. There are warning signs of shoulder injury. Several kinds of shoulder injuries like biceps rupture, scapula fracture and rotator cuff injuries are experienced by many people. Very often this type of injury damages the muscles and tendons of the shoulder instead of bones.
Those engaged in sports activities are prone to get shoulder injury. Many times people do not give importance to pain or stiffness on the shoulder which may worsen the problem.
Symptoms of shoulder injury include pain, numbness, difficulty in moving arms, tingling sensation, swelling of arms, tenderness on the shoulder, change in temperature and discomfort while making rotating motion. The pain will aggravate when the person engages in strenuous work that involves moving the shoulder muscle upwards.
Some types of shoulder injury are discussed below:-
When there is dislocation of the joints, it can cause instability and discomfort to the shoulders. The position of the joints will move from its original place leading to dislocation. This will cause great pain and difficulty in moving the arm. Many people feel this as slipping of shoulder from its place.
If the muscles of the shoulder rub against the blades it can cause impingement. People involved in frequent moving of arms in overhead position can get this problem.
Rotator Cuff Injury :
This is the major problem occurring in people with shoulder injury. Certain group of muscles called rotator cuff binds the entire muscles and tendons of the shoulder offering good support for flexible movement of shoulder. When the rotator cuff gets injured the person may not be able to lift his arm above his head thus unable to perform certain activities. Among all other joints of the body, shoulder joint has wide range of motions and for this reason this joint is subjected to more wear and tear and injury than other joints.
Causes of Shoulder Injury :
Acute injury can occur to the shoulder joints and ligaments suddenly during a fall or direct blow on the shoulder. When the arms are bent in abnormal position or twisted far from the normal position it can certainly cause injury. It causes sudden pain and severe pain.
When the nerves inside the shoulder get damaged during a fall, it can cause shoulder pain and injury. This may even cause leakage of blood into the tissues which can change the color of normal skin to blue or black color.
If the blood vessels on the skin of shoulder muscle gets damaged or ruptured it will cause oozing of blood into the skin tissues. Sprains can occur to the shoulder muscles when the ropy fibers connecting the bones get un-stabilized. When the muscles are pulled out with force it can cause strain to the underlying tissues and joints.
Brachial plexus neuropathy can cause nerve damage. Accidents can separate the collarbone from the end of shoulder blade causing torn ligaments. Fractures can occur on the shoulder bone when it is twisted in awkward position.
When the joints are overused or overstretched it can cause shoulder injury. Bursitis is a condition in which there is rubbing of bones due to lack of cushioning and lubrication. The connecting tendons may get inflamed due to swelling of ropy fibers. Biceps muscle or humerus muscles may get damaged badly when it is stretched beyond limit.
When the cartilages get broken or cushions are dislocated, it can cause shoulder injury. A herniated disc or pinched nerve can cause swelling.
Home Remedies for Minor Injury :
If there is considerable pain and swelling of shoulder muscles, you can apply ice compression. You can try RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) therapy for getting positive results.
Rest should be given to the shoulder muscles and bones when it is injured. Give complete rest by not doing any activity that may cause pain and increase swelling on the shoulder.
Apply ice or cold packs on the affected area to reduce swelling. You can wrap some ice cubes in a towel and gently keep it on the shoulder area where there is pain. Repeat this process many times to get relief from swelling. You can also use alternate cold and heat therapy on the shoulder muscles.
Compression is wrapping the area with fine bandage to reduce inflammation. Make your shoulder comfortable by wearing a sling.
Keep the affected shoulder in elevated position which would reduce swelling considerably. You can keep the arms to rest on a pillow while sitting.
All these remedies are effective only for short injury with mild pain and swelling.
Medical Treatment :
In case of bleeding of arms, you need to visit the clinic as early as possible. Before reaching the hospital you can apply force directly on the affected area to stop bleeding. You can use a sling for adding more support.
If your doctor applies a splint or casting for broken bones on the shoulder you should make every effort to keep it dry and clean.
Your surgeon and physiotherapist will teach you some shoulder exercises for strengthening the muscles. It can be like wall push-ups, stretching exercise and press-ups.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are given for reducing swelling. Cortisone is given directly in the form of injection on the affected area like joints.
Surgery is done in case of internal fracture or severe muscle damage.