Since the shoulder joints are the most movable joints in the entire body, they are very susceptible to potential injury. There are a number of different issues that can occur with the shoulders, including shoulder strains, shoulder sprains, dislocations of the shoulder, shoulder separations, bursitis, rotator cuff tears, shoulder fractures, tendonitis and arthritis related shoulder pain.
There are a very large number of ways to injure the shoulder because it is a highly complex and movable part of the body. The structure of the shoulder makes it particularly susceptible to injury. Because the upper arm ball is bigger than the socket that it is held by, stability can be an issue. The muscles, ligaments, and tendons help the shoulder stay stable, but any blow could cause problems. Sports collisions and the force of manual labor are two common reasons for a shoulder injury. Another common reason is degeneration of the ligaments and other soft tissues due to age. Overuse of the shoulder, as with people who have repetitive physical jobs, may cause shoulder injuries over time.
The first thing that the doctor will do is request a medical history. Any details that you can provide may give the doctor information about the specific type of injury you're dealing with. A physical exam will typically be next. During the exam, the doctor will test a range of motion, pain location, the degree of pain, and level of joint stability. X-ray imaging, ultrasound or MRI may also be used to determine the diagnosis so that the proper treatment can be pursued. Whether it is a rotator cuff repair or an entire shoulder replacement, there is almost always a viable solution for shoulder pain.
Another common diagnostic and treatment option is a shoulder arthroscopy. Like a knee arthroscopy, this procedure involves a small incision made into the skin. An arthroscope (tiny camera) is then used to examine and/or repair the tissues around your shoulder joint.
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