Shoulder pain is one of the most common conditions that affect people of different ages and for different reasons. Shoulder pains at times present itself in higher percentages to the elderly due to aging. The shoulder, because of its various functions, becomes susceptible to various forms of muscle strains, sprains, and inflammation of the muscles that support its movements along the back and neck.
In forming a diagnosis for the cause of the shoulder pain, the area in which discomfort occurs plays an important role in deciding what the problem might be. Pain that is restricted to the top of the shoulder and upper arm and moves down to the arm up-to the fingers may be a case of nerve impingement. The pain related to nerve impingement is very sharp and depending on the fingers involved, the doctor is able to determine which nerves are involved. Pain in the shoulder blade region maybe be caused by spastic muscles due to excessive use of the same hand or being hit in the should blade region. This causes the muscle to form swellings that trigger pains in the shoulder in areas that may not be as close to the point of formation. Another cause of shoulder pain may not be shoulder pain but an indication of an underlying problem with the internal organs especially in situations where the pain occurs in the under arm. Pains that occur under the right shoulder blade indicates problems with the gall bladder or indication presence of gall stones or liver disease while pain under the left shoulder blade indicates a problem wit the stomach, heart or the chest like pneumonia.
Other causes of shoulder pain include rotator cuff tear related to tendonitis but on a scale of 10% which in the end if not treated causes gradual regression in the shoulder’s soft tissues. This is caused by breaking a fall and using the hand for support, lifting heavy objects that cause muscle strain. Majority of the rotator cuff tears are caused by gradual shoulder pains which are not treated in good time and cause wasting of the muscle leading to limited arm movements in all directions. When the pain is in the rear shoulder blade and aggravated by movement of the head indicates a problem with the neck extending to the shoulder blades.
Treating shoulder pains is approached on the basis of the cause. In the case of rotator tendonitis taking enough rest and use of an anti-inflammatory drug is used .Patients with night pains are introduced to physical therapy to maintain joint mobility. There are varying opinions as to which is the best treatment between corticosteroids, physiotherapy, anti inflammatory medication with a preference being given to corticosteroids. Neck problems should be treated with exercise, physical therapy and injection of steroids into the areas that trigger the pain. Though treatments are easily available, one should take their time to go for scans and imaging in-order to ensure the clear cause of problem is identified.↑ Back to Top