shoulder stiffness

What is a Frozen Shoulder?

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What Exactly Is A Frozen Shoulder?

Your shoulder is a joint that is made up of many parts. They help you raise, rotate, and swing your arm. But if you have frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), certain parts of the shoulder joint contract (shrink and pull in). This often causes pain and stiffness when you try to move your arm.

The first symptom you may have is shoulder pain. You may feel as if you’ve injured your shoulder. Other symptoms you may have include:

  •  Increased shoulder pain as you move your arm
  • Shoulder stiffness that makes it hard to get daily tasks done
  • Shoulder pain that keeps you from sleeping
  • An arm that you can’t raise or rotate beyond a certain point

Who Develops Frozen Shoulder?

Women are more likely than men to have frozen shoulder. This problem also occurs more often in women who are at least in their 40s. In some cases, people who have injured their shoulder may later develop frozen shoulder.

Treating Frozen Shoulder

To treat a frozen shoulder, stretches are tried first. If stretches alone don’t help, your doctor may suggest adding other treatments. Keep in mind that no treatment replaces shoulder stretches. After any of these treatments, you’ll need to start your exercises again as advised by your doctor.

Cortisone Injection

Cortisone is a steroid medication. It helps reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation). It is injected into the shoulder joint. It won’t cure frozen shoulder. But it may give some pain relief. This allows you to do your stretches more comfortably.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery may be suggested if stretching doesn’t relieve your pain and stiffness. In some cases, both procedures described below are done at the same time.

  • Manipulation. Your doctor slowly raises your arm until the capsule and ligaments are freed (released). The capsule is the sheet of tough fibers that surrounds the bones that make up the shoulder joint. The ligaments are the tough tissue that connects these bones.
  • Capsular release. Your doctor frees the capsule and ligaments through an incision. This may be done if manipulation did not release the capsule. Surgery on the shoulder may be done through a few small incisions. This is called arthroscopic surgery. Or, it may be done through one large incision. This is known as open surgery.

You may start doing shoulder stretches soon after manipulation and capsular release—perhaps even the same day. Your doctor will discuss the plan for your treatment and stretches before the procedure.

If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention.  Treatment of these conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your problem.  The physical therapists, physicians, and surgeons at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center have the specialized training, expertise, and experience you need to treat your shoulder problems – both surgically or non-surgically.  To schedule an appointment with the shoulder specialists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, please call 540-347-9220.  To learn more about the comprehensive services Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers, please visit us @ www.broava.com.

 

What Is a SLAP Lesion?

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The shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body. The ball (or “head”) of the arm bone (humerus) rests in a shallow socket called the glenoid, much like a golf ball fits on a tee. To help make the socket deeper, the outer rim of the glenoid is ringed by tough, flexible tissue called the labrum.

SLAP stands for “Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior.” This means that the upper rim of the labrum has been torn from front to back. The tear occurs where the biceps tendon anchors to the labrum. Common causes of a SLAP lesion include:

  • Falling on an outstretched hand
  • Forceful lifting
  • Repeated overhead motions (such as throwing)

Diagnosing a SLAP Lesion

To diagnose the problem, your doctor will examine your arm and shoulder. This includes moving your arm in certain directions to test for symptoms. Imaging tests, such as an MRI, MRA, or CT scan, may also be done. These provide your doctor with a detailed view of the tissues inside your shoulder joint.

Treating a SLAP Lesion

Rest and anti-inflammatory medications are often the first line of treatment. Physical therapy can also be used to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder. This helps keep the joint stable. If these treatments aren’t enough, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the labrum.  For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of SLAP Lesion please contact the shoulder specialists of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center at 540.347.9220 or visit us @ www.broava.com.

Shoulder Tendonitis

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Shoulder tendonitis causes an inflammation of the rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon and is usually the outcome of a pinched tendon.  Sports activities that require the arm to move over the head repetitively, such as baseball, weightlifting, racket sports, and particular swimming strokes often are the cause of shoulder tendonitis.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

  • Pain or stiffness in the shoulder
  • Unable to hold arm in particular positions

Pain relief strategies –

  • Active rest
  • Strengthening/rehabilitation exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Motrin or Aleve
  • Anti-inflammatory steroid  injections
  • Surgery for extreme injuries

Shoulder pain is a common orthopaedic condition.  Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center can help you recover from injuries or wear-and-tear.  Our surgeons and physical therapists have the specialized training, expertise, and experience you need to treat shoulder problems – either surgically or non-surgically.  To schedule an appointment with our shoulder specialists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, please call 540.347.9220.  To learn more about our services, please visit www.broava.com

Shoulder Replacement?

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We have all heard of a knee or hip replacement but a shoulder replacement?  Yes, while it’s less common than knee or hip replacement it is highly successful in reducing joint pain.  According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00094) shoulder replacement surgery began in the U.S.  in the 1950s and today, approximately 53,000 people in the U.S. have this surgery each year.

If you have tried nonsurgical options such as medications and lifestyle changes and find they are no longer helping to relieve the pain, you may want to contemplate shoulder joint replacement surgery.  Shoulder replacement surgery involves removal of the damaged parts of the shoulder and replace with artificial components known as a prosthesis.

If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention.  Treatment of these conditions must be directed at the cause of your problem.  Some signs that you should see a doctor include:

  • Inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Injury that causes deformity of the joint
  • Shoulder pain that occurs at night
  • Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Inability to raise the arm
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint
  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, or warmth

Shoulder pain is a common orthopaedic condition.  Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center can help you recover from injuries or wear-and-tear.  Our surgeons have the specialized training, expertise, and experience you need to treat shoulder problems – both surgically or non- surgically.  To schedule an appointment with our shoulder specialists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center please call 540.347.9220 or simply visit our website @ www.broava.com.

Arthritis of the Shoulder?

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When arthritis occurs in the shoulder, the cartilage of the ball and socket (glenohumerl joint) is almost to the point of gone and the bone rubs on bone.  This type of arthritis can be occur from injury, degenerative joint disease, and of course aging.

Signs and Symtoms –

  •  Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Loss of motion
  • Inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Shoulder pain at night

There are several treatment options available for arthritis of the shoulder such as – if arthritis is detected early on it can be managed with mild analgesics (pain medicines) and gentle exercises.  Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation department offers aquatic therapy which is known as a “gentle” exercise and is provided by a trained and licensed physical therapist.  Injections of anti-inflammatory steroids, the application of ice and hot moist packs are also very effective in relieving pain.

When exercise and medications no longer do the trick for shoulder pain, shoulder replacement surgery may be considered.  If you are suffering with shoulder pain and unsure of the cause, you should seek medical attention from a specialist.  Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many causes of this problem.  It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so the appropriate treatment plan can be put into place.  To speak to one of our shoulder specialists please call us @ 540.347.9220 or visit www.broava.com for more information on shoulder pain.