Karen had been busy all afternoon making a special dinner. Everything was just about ready and now it was time to set the table. She opened the cabinet and reached up to get two of the fancy china plates reserved for only the most elegant affairs. That was when she felt the pain in her shoulder and the sensation that someone was trying to hold her arm down.
Pain is an interesting thing. Sometimes you can pinpoint the start and exact cause of it. Sometimes it can creep up on you out of the blue and you have no idea when it started, how or why. And it comes in an endless variety of sensations. Shoulder pain is no exception, and here are a few things you should know about it.
A Complex Joint
The shoulder is one of the many marvels of the body. Tendons, ligaments and supportive tissues are connected in such a way as to provide more range of motion than any other joint. Because the joint has such extensive mobility, it is also vulnerable to injury. When you feel pain in your shoulder, it should be examined. Waiting or neglecting to get care could make the situation worse.
The shoulder joint is mostly supported by the surrounding muscles. Biceps, deltoid, pectoral, triceps and rotator cuff work together to provide support and motion for the shoulder. When posture is poor, such as the slumped forward position, the shoulders are pulled forward. If you are like the average person, just about all your daily activities are performed in a hunched over position. Driving, reading and working at the computer, to name just a few.
This forward position causes the pectoral muscles in front to tighten. At the same time, muscles at the back of the shoulder to become over-stretched. Rotator cuff muscles, and those attached to the scapula, weaken. This predicament can cause pinching of the biceps and rotator cuff tendons. It is also the most common cause of shoulder pain.
Rotator Cuff Problems
There are many injuries that can give rise to shoulder pain, but one of the main causes is a problem with the rotator cuff. Complaints of shoulder pain are related to the rotator cuff is a vast majority of cases. These four small muscles and tendons are attached to the shoulder blade. Tears in the rotator cuff can be the result of repetitive motion over time, a fall, an accident or overuse.
Injury to the rotator cuff weakens the shoulder. Lifting your arm overhead becomes difficult and painful. Routine activities like getting dressed or brushing your hair become challenging.
The shoulder is a complex joint and easily injured. Regardless of the cause of your shoulder pain, contacting a qualified doctor to diagnose and treat the problem is crucial. Allowing the problem to go neglected may only make it worse.
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