Chronic pain of any kind is exhausting and may interfere in everyday activities. In case of chronic shoulder pain the movement in the affected shoulder is restricted and one has to deal with different degree of permanent or intermittent pain. The shoulder is simply useless and only represents the source of pain. Even though chronic shoulder pain may affect people of all ages it is most common among athletes.
What are Causes of Chronic Shoulder Pain?
Definitely one of the most common causes of chronic shoulder pain is injury. This particular joint can be injured in a variety of sports and it can also occur as a consequence of direct fall onto the shoulder, direct blow, car accident etc.
Bursitis is a painful inflammation of the bursa, a specific structure of the joints which comprises small fluid-filled pads called bursae. The function of these pads is to act as cushions between the bones, tendons and muscles near the joints. Bursitis commonly affects the shoulder joint and can be a source of chronic and intensive pain. The affected area is swollen.
Arthritis of the shoulder is another cause of chronic pain in the particular area. There are several types of arthritis which can affect the shoulder join and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are only two of them.
Chronic shoulder pain, especially during night, can be associated with rotator cuff injury. In rotator cuff injury a set of tendons and muscles of the shoulder are damaged in a form of tear. This injury most commonly occurs due to overuse of the shoulder muscles and is frequent among athletes.
Chronic shoulder pain is also possible in patients whose shoulder has been dislocated. In shoulder dislocation the head of the humerus leaves its anatomical place and gets separated from the shoulder blade.
There are several more conditions associated with chronic shoulder pain and they include shoulder separation, muscle sprain and tendinitis.
Treatment for Chronic Shoulder Pain
Persistent and recurrent shoulder pain must be reported to a doctor. The underlying cause of pain requires proper evaluation and suitable treatment. In majority of cases chronic shoulder pain is treated conservatively with medications and physical therapy. The treatment for bursitis includes anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory therapy is also a treatment option for arthritis of the shoulder joint as well as shoulder dislocation. Rotator cuff injury may be treated conservatively and in some cases even surgical repair is required. Most of the treatment options succeed in reduction, if not elimination, of pain. In some cases treatment for chronic shoulder pain may last for life-time.