Types of Shoulder Pain
Inflammation to the bursae that act as “cushions” between bones and muscles in the shoulder joint.
Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis
This condition is inflammation of the soft tissue in the joint.
Common condition in swimmers and tennis players, and in sports involving overarm throwing. These strain the tendons of the rotator cuff causing them to swell and to be “impinged” by the joint.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Shoulder bursitis will be painful when you perform overhead movement or put weight on your shoulder. You may have limited movement in your shoulder, loss of arm strength, and swelling on the outside of your arm. With a frozen shoulder you may have pain that worsens at night or when you try to lift your arm, and reduced movement. Symptoms of impingement syndrome include shoulder pain, difficulty in raising your arm, pain when reaching behind you, and a “grinding” sensation on moving your shoulder. Your doctor will diagnose these conditions with an assessment of your symptoms, and by using X-rays, and MRI scans.
Risks and Complications
Untreated bursitis may lead to inflammation and possible infection of the fluid inside your bursae, which may require surgery, while untreated impingement syndrome may cause your shoulder to become stiff and immobile, and your tendons to tear, if you engage in sports. Frozen shoulder may initially worsen, leading to further lack of mobility, although it can eventually improve on its own. A buildup of scar tissue on your muscles, however, may result in your needing surgery.
For Frozen Shoulder
Anti-inflammatories medication may be prescribe to reduce the inflammation. Cortisone injection may also be helpful.
If above non-surgical treatments did not improve your symptoms, our doctor may recommend surgery to remove the adhesions through arthroscopy or Manipulation Under Anaesthesia. These are non-invasive methods.
For Shoulder Bursitis
Oral anti-inflammatories will be helpful. Physiotherapy will also be helpful.
If you are not responding well to the above non-surgical treatments, our doctor may recommend surgery to drain the bursa or to totally remove the bursa.
For Impingement Syndrome
Physiotherapy will be helpful so you will abstain from repetitive shoulder movements. Oral anti-inflammatories or injection will be helpful.
If physiotherapy and anti-inflammatories are not helpful, surgery may be recommended to release the impinged ligament.
Shoulder Joint Pain Specialist
Dr Tan Chin Yik, Shoulder Orthopaedic Specialist