The shoulder is generally regarded as the most frequently injured extremity joint in the body, even more than the knees. This is because the shoulder is so uniquely built for mobility that it remains highly unstable, bound together mostly by easily-injured muscles. Your knee, by contrast, has a rich variety of sturdy ligaments (with popular acronym names like the ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL) and cartilage meniscus padding for stabilization and cushioning.
The most common reason for shoulder pain is injury to a shoulder muscle. However, there are many other possible causes for shoulder pain, since the shoulders are situated so close to the organs of the trunk. Did you know that a liver abscess could make your shoulder hurt?
Here are some possible causes for your shoulder pain:
- strain or sprain of the rotator cuff (most commonly the supraspinatus), biceps, triceps
- cervical nerve dysfunction ("pinched nerve") due to disc herniation, neck vertebra misalignment, or stenosis
- osteoarthritis or an inflammatory arthritis
- thoracic outlet syndrome
- acromioclavicular separation or subluxation
- adhesive capsulitis ("frozen shoulder syndrome")
- shoulder dislocation
- fracture of the arm, shoulder blade, or collarbone
- torn labrum
- a widespread joint condition such as fibromyalgia or Lyme Disease
- referred pain from another organ, such as the heart, liver, gallbladder, lungs, or diaphragm
- breast cancer
- bone cyst
- drug side effects
How do you know whether your shoulder pain is simple or actually life-threatening? In all cases, consult with Dr. Johnson.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
All images used are under Creative Commons license.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, S.C., proudly located in Peoria, IL.