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Why Shoulder Pain Happens (With No Injury To Blame!)

Neck Pain

To easily break this down, shoulder pain mainly originates from 3 general sources:  structural, traumatic and functional.

1. Structural problems deal with changes to the anatomy, which affect or are in the shoulder joint itself.  These can include things like congenital anomalies, which are variants in anatomy that people are born with, this most often occurs in the scapula (or shoulder blade).  Arthritis in the shoulder is also a structural issue, but this often is a result of post-traumatic damage and chronic functional imbalances.

2. Traumatic is just that in itself.  This pain is a direct result of trauma to the shoulder joint, whether it be a sports injury, slip/fall, or a car accident.  Injuries can include damage to the rotator cuff, labrum, fractures, tendinitis, and bursitis, just to name a few.

3. Functional pain originates from repetitive stress placed on the tissues and the joints in the shoulder area because it is not functioning properly, which can be caused by muscular imbalances, poor posture, improper joint movement and having the rhythm between the shoulder blade and upper arm disrupted.  When this occurs, over time it can cause issues like rotator cuff tears, tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, and some impingement syndromes.

I would like to note the conditions I have named are just possible problems, which can occur and these are not the only conditions limited to these situations.

All 3 situations lead to altered bio mechanics attributing to pain and further tissue damage. These faulty joint movements can be coming from the neck/upper back, shoulder blade or in the shoulder itself.  It is important to have all these areas evaluated if you are experiencing any shoulder pain, pain down the arm, or joint stiffness.

If you or someone you know is having any sort of shoulder problems, we would invite you to stop by the office for an evaluation!

Dr. Nick Knaup

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