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The shoulder comprises of muscles, nerves, bones, tendons and ligaments as any other joint of the body. There are a number of conditions which cause pain in the shoulder.


So, what actually causes pain in the shoulder?

Let's specify the causes which can lead to shoulder pain:

  • Frozen shoulder
    • The frozen shoulder is a condition where a painful stiffness develops in the shoulder joints which makes even the normal movements of the shoulder a tedious task for the patient. This is caused by thickening, tightening and swelling of the tissues which surround the shoulder joint.
  • Bursitis
    • The bursae are the small sacs filled with fluid which is placed in the shoulder joints and acts as a cushion between the bones and the other overlying tissues and aids in reducing the friction between the bone and the gliding muscle. The excessive use of the shoulder leads to swelling and inflammation of bursa resulting in pain.
  • Tendinitis
    • Tendon is the connector between the bone and the muscle. The condition of tendinitis occurs as a result of wearing down of the tendon which occurs gradually. The biceps tendons and the rotator cuff tendons are the most effective of the tendons in this condition. Tendinitis is of two types:
      • Acute- It is usually caused due to excessive overhead activities including sports, throwing balls or similar work
      • Chronic- The repetitive wear and tear which occurs due to factors such as age leading to diseases such as arthritis.
  • Impingement
    • The shoulder impingement occurs when pressure is put by the shoulder blade on the soft tissues lying underneath when the arm is lifted away. When the arm is lifted away, the acromion rubs on the bursa and the rotator cuff tendons leading to tendinitis and bursitis which causes pain and also limits the movement.
  • Arthritis
    • This is the most common cause of pain. Arthritis is of many types. The 'wear and tear' arthritis or the Osteoarthritis is the pain causing arthritis for the shoulders. The symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling develop during the middle age and the pain worsens with time. This type of arthritis is usually associated with work or sports injuries.
  • Instability
    • The shoulder stability is caused due to the forcing out of the upper arm bone's head on the shoulder socket. This happens as a result of an injury or overuse of the shoulder socket. This can even cause shoulder dislocation, both partial and complete. Also, with the losing or tearing of the ligaments, muscles and tendons around the shoulder, the dislocations become a regular feature.

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