Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is restricted movement as a result of inflammation. The tissues around the joint stiffen, causing scar tissue to form, causing shoulder pain and difficulty with movement.  People with an increased risk of Frozen Shoulder include those with diabetes, shoulder trauma (including surgery), hyperthyroidism, and a history of open heart disease or cervical disk disease; however, this condition can occur spontaneously.

Symptoms may include:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Limited Motion

Shoulder Separation (AC Joint Separation)

A shoulder separation, the partial or complete separation of the collarbone and the area at top of the shoulder blade at the end (acromion process), is most commonly the result of a fall or blow to the shoulder. The impact may stretch or tear the ligaments that stabilize the AC joint. The trauma separates the bones in the shoulder, creating tremendous pain and a bump at the top of the shoulder.

Symptoms may include:

  • Severe shoulder pain
  • Tenderness in the shoulder and/or collarbone
  • Weakness in the shoulder or arm
  • Bruising and/or swelling of the shoulder
  • Restricted shoulder movement
  • A bump at the top of the shoulder

Rotator Cuff Injury

Your rotator cuff is made of four muscles that all come from your shoulder blade.  They all have different actions, but their overall job is to keep the shoulder, or the head of the humerus, in its socket, or the glenoid fossa. By being able to hold the shoulder in place while having specific different muscle actions, the muscles of the rotator cuff allow for the shoulder to have the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body.

A rotator cuff injury occurs when there is any type of irritation or damage to your rotator cuff muscles or tendons. There are various causes of a rotator cuff injury, like falling, lifting, car accidents, repetitive shoulder movements, like placing books back on their shelves, and high-speed shoulder movements, like throwing a baseball. Muscles in the area of the neck, back, and shoulder may be very inflamed and swollen as a result of a rotator cuff injury.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your shoulder, especially when reaching overhead, reaching behind your back, lifting, pulling or sleeping on the affected side
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Loss of shoulder range of motion
  • Tendency to keep your shoulder inactive
  • Severe shoulder pain
  • Muscle swelling and tightness in the back, shoulder, or neck area

Supraspinatus Impingement

Supraspinatus impingement can also be called Thrower’s Shoulder or Swimmer’s Shoulder due to the mechanism of injury. Sometimes, when activating an overhead shoulder motion, the supraspinatus tendon, which is the tendon to a primary muscle in the rotator cuff, can become impinged as it passes through the shoulder joint, under a bony projection from the shoulder blade called the acromion, to attach to the head of the humerus.  It can cause pain and can also cause a restricted range of motion.

Symptoms may include:

  • Gradual shoulder pain
  • Pain at the front and/or side of the shoulder joint with overhead activity such as throwing, front crawl swimming
  • Pain at the back and/or front of the shoulder when the arm is held out to the side (abducted) and turned outwards (external rotation)
  • Pain when lifting the arm to the side above 90 degrees
  • Pain on internal shoulder movements – for example reaching up behind your back.

Biceps Tendinitis

The biceps muscle has two tendons that attach up in the shoulder region. One attachment, called the long head, wraps around the outside and attaches toward the top of the shoulder and the other attachment, called the short head) comes from the inside and straight up to attach to the shoulder complex. Biceps tendonitis happens to the long head attachment of the biceps brachii muscle. In most cases, damage to the biceps tendon is due to a lifetime of overhead activities and worsened by repeating the same shoulder motions. Many jobs, chores, and sports require routine shoulder motions that can cause overuse damage over time.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the outside-front of the shoulder, which worsens with overhead lifting or activity
  • Pain or achiness that moves down the outer part of the upper arm bone
  • An occasional snapping sound or sensation in the shoulder