Statistics show that shoulder pain affects about 15.4% of men and 24.9% of women. The prevalence of shoulder pain also increases with age, especially for people over 50 years of age.
There are many causes of shoulder pain. This is the most mobile joint in your body, so it is more prone to injury. But why – for some – does it just seem like it won’t last long?
The first reason is a misdiagnosis. Here are some examples of his appearance.
Your MRI will tell you that you have a rotator cuff tear – so you have surgery – but the pain will come back or it won’t go away completely as they say. You’ve been told you have impingement syndrome, so you’re going to have arthroscopic decompression surgery – no luck. You may have been told that you have tendonitis in your shoulders and need a cortisone stroke, followed by physical therapy. No, that didn’t work either.
When it comes to shoulder pain, you need to know for sure that the pain in your shoulder is actually coming from your shoulder. Otherwise, you will waste your time trying to solve the wrong problem and may face an unnecessary procedure or operation.
So, if your shoulder pain doesn’t go away, where does it come from?
The most common culprit is your neck or middle back. In fact, studies show that 40% of extreme pain (including shoulder pain) comes from a source in your spine – even if you don’t feel any pain in your spine.
Here are some key signs and tips to help you diagnose your shoulder pain incorrectly:
Where is your illness?
When the pain originates in your shoulder, the pain is localized to your shoulder joint. True shoulder pain can be felt directly in front of your shoulder, above your shoulder, or in the case of a shoulder problem (such as a rotator cuff injury), you may feel some pain in the side of your arm. But it will never fall below your elbow. If the pain passes through your elbows and into your wrists or arms, or radiates over your shoulders to your neck (upper trap area), or if you feel pain in the middle of your lower back inside your shoulders, chances are good. you’re dealing with a shoulder problem, not a spine problem.
Do your symptoms include insomnia, itching, or burning?
These are signs of nerve compression or irritation. If this is the case – it could be from your neck – and it could be due to something like a disc – or it could be a restricted / erratic movement that irritates the nerves in your neck. You may experience symptoms in your shoulders, shoulders, and even your hands. What is especially confusing is that it is possible to feel all of these nerve symptoms on your shoulders or arms, but in reality you do not feel anything on your neck. If your arm hurts more than your shoulder, examine your neck thoroughly. This is a large area of misdiagnosis for those who have long suffered from shoulder pain.
What is your posture?
Poor posture can damage the joints of your shoulders – without you knowing it. If you have a really bent middle waist, combined with a “forward head” pose, then you are simply setting your shoulders to failure. Chronic, poor posture over time accumulates tendons and structures in the shoulder joint. Every time you raise your hand or try to lift something with your outstretched hand – if you are in a bad position, there will be consequences. The hard part of this scenario is that it really hurts your shoulder. Your rotating cuff may wear out and you may have degeneration in your shoulder joint, which can make you feel weak. The confusion here is the actual symptoms of shoulder “problems”. The real reason is your pose and it has gone unnoticed or unresolved. The good news is that many of these “wear and tear” problems of the shoulder will naturally disappear if you resort to your own posture, and you can avoid unnecessary procedures and surgeries. This problem is so prevalent under the radar that it is not always addressed.
If you have a real shoulder problem and it is correctly diagnosed, it should be eliminated with the right treatment. If this is not the case, it is important to keep in mind that the real source of your shoulder pain has not been identified. Start by examining your spine carefully.
Dr. Carrie Jose, a physiotherapist and Pilates expert, owns CJ Physical Therapy & Pilates in Portsmouth and writes for the Seacoast Media Group. To get in touch or book a place in his upcoming Neck & Shoulder Master Class, email him at email@example.com or call 603-605-0402.