Common Shoulder Injuries and Treatment Options
Whether you enjoy tennis, golf, fishing, or any other fun activity, injuries are an inherent possibility. Shoulder injuries and shoulder pain are common among those of us living an active lifestyle. This article will give you a brief overview of the anatomy of the shoulder and common rotator cuff injuries. Most importantly, we’ll share with you the most common causes of shoulder pain and how to support the healing of your body, so you can get back to doing whatever it is you love to do most.
The human shoulder is an incredible joint if you stop to think about it. It can move in nearly every direction and is quite versatile. The mechanics that allow it to do all this also make it a bit vulnerable to injury.
The shoulder joint itself is the top of your arm bone, the humerus, sitting in a little cup of smooth cartilage called the labrum. Surrounding that, there are a lot of ligaments that stabilize the joint, called the joint capsule, and that is then surrounded by all the muscles of the shoulder, scapula, and upper arm, often called the rotator cuff as a whole.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
- Rotator Cuff Tear (any of the muscles and/or tendons)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy, Tendinitis and Tendinosis
- Labral/Labrum Tear
- Bursitis (Little sacs that put cushion between tendons)
- Ligament strain (of joint capsule)
Shoulder Ligaments, Tendons and Pain Relief
To understand how to heal from shoulder pain, it’s first important to know what is generating the pain. It is often necessary to get a medical professional’s diagnosis to learn this. To know your specific healing needs, there are three main structures to consider.
One or more of these is what drives the majority of shoulder pain.
When the rotator cuff and shoulder joint get stretched beyond their healthy range of motion, it creates tears (sometimes large, sometimes micro) in the muscles and/or tendons. This “overstretching” can also strain the tendons and ligaments. Tendons and ligaments have a lot of nerves and can cause A LOT of pain.
There are many ways to support healing and pain reduction from these kinds of injuries. Some are good candidates for at-home treatment. Others need a higher level of intervention.
Home Treatment Is OK and ActivMend is Recommended:
- Ligaments- If they are strained from an injury like mentioned above, decreasing inflammation and stimulating healing at home is a great option. With appropriate rest, rehabilitation, and inflammation support, these injuries can heal well.
- Tendinitis- This is acute (not chronic) inflammation of tendons in the shoulder girdle/rotator cuff. Like ligaments, if there is a simple strain injury, home treatment usually works well here.
- Bursitis - These cushioning pads between tendons can also get inflamed. They typically respond quite well to at-home treatment methods.
Beyond At Home Treatment:
- Frozen shoulder- This condition not only hurts, it causes a drastic decrease in range of motion. Diagnosis and additional treatment such as physical therapy is necessary.
- Dislocation -This is intensely painful and when it happens, there’s no question about what to do. The hospital and putting it back in place are the immediate necessary option.
- Impingement - Sometimes tendons can get impinged and over time begin to cause pain. If this is the case, often times surgery can release the impingement and improve the situation.
For at-home treatment of shoulder pain and shoulder injury recovery, ActivMend is a powerhouse to have on hand. Designed to not only decrease pain but stimulate the healing mechanisms of the body over a 5-day period. ActivMend healing gel patches will speed up your recovery, reducing overall recovery time.
Physical Therapy and Pain
Almost any injury can be improved with physical therapy (PT). It helps speed recovery from injuries and improves healing from many long-lasting injuries. Depending on the nature of what’s causing the pain, (i.e., muscle, tendon, ligament), and where the injury is at, a physical therapist will prescribe a variety of shoulder pain exercises. In the healthcare setting, ibuprofen is often the go-to for painful conditions. What most people don’t know is inflammation IS the healing mechanism. A naturally supportive approach of combined therapies is typically the most effective.
When you combine a natural therapy like PT with ActivMend, the results of both are enhanced. Together, the two work from different angles in a supportive fashion. PT works on movement rehabilitation, while ActivMend stimulates the healing mechanisms themselves, creating a powerhouse approach to getting you moving freely again, with less pain.
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