Your shoulder is a complex joint constituting some bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. But there are many reasons that can lead to shoulder pain and later become a hurdle in performing regular activities. Well, initially finding the root cause of the problem is not an easy task and needs proper evaluation and medical help.
The most common reasons for shoulder pain are arthritis and bursitis. Moreover, it is difficult to differentiate between the two due to a lot of similar symptoms. Today we will try to discuss these two in detail so that we can draw a line to distinguish between these two shoulder problems.
Digging info about Shoulder Arthritis
Arthritis is derived from a Greek word- Arthron that means joint and this orthopedic problem is defined as the inflammation or wearing & tearing of cartilage in the joints (one or multiple) of the body. But apart from joints, Arthritis can also affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This shoulder problem can further be divided into 3 different forms. These are:
Osteoarthritis- degeneration of cartilage
It is one of the most chronic joint problems that is caused due to degeneration. Herein, the smooth articular cartilage decays which leads to pain and immobility. If it is left untreated, then the cartilage is completely worn away and this situation progresses to direct rubbing of the bones present in the joint
Post-traumatic arthritis- a problem that usually occurs due to an injury
This type of arthritis occurs when one suffers from an injury due to an accident or sports and it leads to damaged cartilage. A grave blow on the shoulder can also result in this shoulder problem.
Rheumatoid arthritis- an autoimmune ortho-problem
When the immunity of the body attacks the Synovium membrane (the membrane that aligns the joint’s cavities & other components together), then this situation is known as Rheumatoid arthritis. Gradually this damage progresses to adjacent cartilage & bone, worsening the pain and leading to loss of function. Usually, both the shoulders get affected by it.
What are its symptoms?
Pain and limited range of motion are common symptoms, but there are many more symptoms that depend on the type of shoulder Arthritis. The other symptoms are mentioned below:
- Shoulder pain gradually becomes worse
- Experiencing tenderness & sensitivity in the shoulders
- Shoulder stiffness or observing the loss of mobility
- Swelling or inflammation in the shoulder joint
- Experiencing weakness in muscles present in the affected shoulder
- Crunching or popping sensation in the shoulder
Getting to know about shoulder Subacromial bursitis and impingement in-depth
This shoulder problem happens when the subacromial bursa gets inflamed. It is most likely to be affected by bursitis and is present below the acromion (shoulder blade). And this is the reason the majority of subacromial bursitis patients experience pain starting from the top & outside of the shoulder joint radiating down the arms. Bursitis can occur due to any acute trauma or chronic overuse. Moreover, if it does not get treated on time, then eventually it can affect the other bursae as well leading to a more complicated situation.
Shoulder impingement syndrome is a medical condition in which the rotator cuff tendons are jammed and compressed in the subacromial space.
What are its common symptoms?
- You may experience pain at the top or outside of the shoulder joint.
- Pain gets triggered after repetitive movements.
- Experiencing muscle weakness, redness, or warmth at the affected shoulder joint.
- You may observe sensitivity & tenderness on the shoulder.
Shoulder bursae do not have to be much swelled up or thicker than the normal for pain. It is a reason that in the majority of cases the swelling is not observed.
Athletes are at a higher risk of developing bursitis, especially tennis players, swimmers, and baseball pitchers. Moreover, wrong training techniques, decreased flexibility, overspecialization in any one activity can also increase the risk of bursitis for an athlete. Also, people who are into a profession that needs them to perform overhead motion repetitively are at a higher risk of developing bursitis.
Arthritis & Bursitis – interrelated conditions intensifying shoulder pain
As we discussed that arthritis affects the bones and cartilage whereas bursitis affects the bursae, tendons, and ligaments. But these two conditions are somewhat connected to each other and together can complicate the condition of the shoulder joint. So don’t neglect your lingering shoulder pain to avoid any medical condition.
In any condition, a proper diagnosis is required from an expert to confirm the exact cause of the shoulder and know the severity of the problem. You can contact Dr. Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay– an experienced shoulder doctor in Gurgaon for shoulder pain treatment. He will try his best to cure the problem as soon as possible.