Shoulder pain can originate in a variety of different ways. It can result from trauma, such as a sports or work injury, shoulder instability due to weakening or imbalances of the muscles surrounding the shoulder, or it can result from wear and tear of the tissues in and around the joint. Arthritic changes can happen in the shoulder over time, but this happens more commonly in weight bearing joints.
The shoulder is a very complex joint, and it can perform many different activities and ranges of motion; however, it is also a very unstable joint and can be prone to injury. The main articulation of the shoulder is the glenohumoral joint. The stability in this joint is maintained by its ligaments and the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. If these muscles weaken or become unbalanced, then the shoulder can become more unstable and be more prone to injury, and wear and tear. It can lead to problems such as tendonitis, bursitis, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tears, trigger points, instability, shoulder dislocations or separations, and arthritis.
Problems in the shoulder can originate in the neck and surrounding musculature. If these joints and muscles become fixated and tight, it can affect the biomechanics of the neck, upper back and shoulder. A common shoulder condition, that is often overlooked, is the infraspinatus trigger point (a type of Rotator Cuff Syndrome). This happens when the rotator cuff muscle develops a localized muscle spasm or inflammation. It can refer sharp or achy pain to the front of the shoulder, deep into the shoulder, or along the outside of the shoulder and down the lateral aspect of the arm. It is typically regarded as an overuse type of injury in which a person performs repetitive activities. It can also come from high stress activities such as throwing, or lifting. Many of these types of injuries could be avoided if the proper precautions were taken.
Although athletes are generally more prone to theses types of issues, it can happen to anyone. Shoulder pain can be very debilitating and if it is not taken care off properly, the condition can become chronic. Rounded shoulders or weakened rotator cuff muscles can be a predisposition for shoulder problems. This puts the shoulder in a position where it over stresses the joint and surrounding muscles. If you haven't started already, adding some rotator cuff exercises and shoulder stabilization exercises to your exercise program can help avoid these problems in the future.
To have your shoulder condition properly diagnosed and treated, you should seek advice from a specialist in musculoskeletal disorders such as a Chiropractic Physician, or an Orthopedist. Treatment of most shoulder conditions would involve correcting the muscular imbalance and removing scar tissue using myofascial release (a focused deep tissue massage), ultrasound, or electrotherapy modalities such as muscle stim or interferential therapy. Additionally, treatment would include restoring proper mobility to the joints in the shoulder, and correcting any misalignments of the spine that are adjacent to the area. Rehabilitation exercises would be needed to help stabilize the correction, restore proprioception, and to help avoid future injury. For unresolving or more serious cases, surgical intervention may even be needed. Don't let your condition become chronic; Get proactive with your health.