Among all joints of the body, shoulder joint is largely complicated. It has the shape of ball and socket and it involves various kinds of movement. Hence the shoulder joint is more prone to pain and injury than any other joint. Most common reasons for shoulder pain are dislocation, strains, tendonitis (over usage of joints), collar bone fracture and frozen shoulder.
Most of the younger generation are suffering from back pain or shoulder pain due to job pressure and nature of work environment. For many people both back pain and shoulder pain have become chronic. Statistics reveal that more than $50 billion is being spent each year for treating shoulder pain. Again back pain is the one of the main reason for taking alternative medicine and chiropractic treatment. Most of the shoulder pain can be treated within few days. But chronic pain is difficult to treat.
Back Shoulder Pain Causes :
Back shoulder pain is caused due to number of factors like sports injury, sudden trauma, and bike or car accidents. Pain can range from moderate to severe depending on the causative factor. Sitting posture can be the main reason for causing chronic shoulder pain and back pain. Plenty of nerves and muscles are involved to maintain the normal curvature. These core muscles are de-conditioned from its regular position due to poor posture causing intense chronic pain. Core muscles give direct support between the portions of trunk and extremities of the body. By strengthening the core muscles one can get relief from chronic shoulder pain.
Herniated discs are another cause of shoulder pain. Vertebral fractures like osteoporosis, scoliosis and stenosis can cause pain. Stress is yet another reason for shoulder pain, since it is closely related with musculoskeletal disorders. Such pain can affect the sleeping pattern of the concerned person thus disturbing the overall quality of life.
Your doctor will physically examine the shoulder and request for imaging tests like X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Sometimes electro diagnostic test like electromyography is done for measuring the nerve conduction velocity.
Type of treatment for shoulder back pain depends on the intensity of pain, age, cause of pain etc. Not a single treatment/therapy is effective for shoulder pain. Hence it is recommended to use combination of one or more treatments regularly.
- Avoiding Certain Activities :
Your doctor will ask you to stop doing certain tasks or certain movements that can worsen the shoulder pain. Some people are advised not to lift their arms above the head, in case if the shoulder pain is due to frozen shoulder. For people with shoulder instability, the person should avoid any tasks that would make the instability worse. Using slings is recommended for shoulder pain for giving extra support to the arm and facilitate quick healing of injured shoulder bones.
- Apply Ice Packs :
For sports related injury that causes shoulder pain, applying ice packs on the affected area is useful to give relief from pain. Ice cubes should be wrapped in a clean towel and kept on the shoulder area for 10-20 minutes. You can repeat this process several times a day for reducing inflammation and quick healing of injury.
- Painkillers :
Mild painkillers like Ibuprofen or naproxen are useful in controlling pain. Follow the instructions of your doctor and do not exceed the dosage. Taking this drug in recommended doses will help in managing pain as well as swelling.
- Corticosteroid :
This type of medicine contains hormone for decreasing pain and swelling. Corticosteroids are effective for frozen shoulder. Some doctors prescribe it in the form of oral pills or in the form of injection directly on the affected shoulder joint to have immediate effect. This type of injections will relieve pain and you can remain pain-free for many days. However there is every chance for recurring pain for which you have to take injections again. It can produce side effects like tightening of skin on the injected site.
You can apply hot compression on the affected shoulder area to get temporary relief. In case of arthritis pain, corticosteroid medications or injections are given. Your physiotherapist will instruct some exercises for improving the functions of shoulder muscle. In severe cases wherein spinal cord problems are involved, surgery is done.