The shoulder is a common site of injury due to the high number of activities that it is involved in performing, and the wide range of motion in the joint itself. Injury or damage to the shoulder joint, or the muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue that support the joint can all be sources of pain. The list below are the most common shoulder conditions we treat at Performance Health.
- Adhesive Capsulitis / Frozen Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Shoulder Impingement
- Biceps Tendinosis and Bursitis
Adhesive Capsulitis / Frozen Shoulder
Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder) is most common in people over the age of 40. Symptoms of FSS include pain, stiffness and an inability to move the arm relative to the shoulder (“frozen shoulder”). These symptoms are caused by inflammation of the capsule, a strong connective tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint and the rotator cuff. Over time, inflammation of the capsule leads to the formation of scar tissue, which restricts the motion of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the scapula (shoulder bone).
Rotator Cuff Syndrome
Rotator cuff syndrome results from damage to one or more of the rotator cuff muscles or tendons. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that support and control the motion of the shoulder joint. Symptoms of rotator cuff syndrome include pain in the front, back and side of the shoulder.
Shoulder impingement causes inflammation and stiffness in the shoulder joint. This condition results when the acromion, a bony prominence at the top of the shoulder, rubs against the rotator cuff (a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder joint) and the bursa (a fluid filled sac that cushions the joint).
The inflammation and pain resulting from shoulder impingement can cause difficulty reaching overhead or behind the back, and weakness in the shoulder muscles.
Biceps Tendinosis and Bursitis
Biceps tendinosis and bursitis often accompany other shoulder problems such as shoulder impingement and rotator cuff syndrome. Biceps tendinosis results from damage to one of the tendons connecting the biceps muscles to the shoulder bones. This damage causes inflammation and thickening of the tendon, and occasionally tendon rupture.
Repetitive overhead activities such as swimming and tennis can lead to small tears in the tendon, which accumulate over time.
Biceps tendinosis pain is usually felt as a deep ache in the front and top of the shoulder, which worsens with overhead activity. Biceps bursitis is a similar condition that results from inflammation of a bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions the shoulder joint.
Elbow injuries are commonly a result of repetitive strain and overuse. These injuries can be a result of athletic endeavours such as golf, tennis, and strength training. Individuals can also experience elbow pain with repetitive tasks such as typing or working at a computer for long periods. Some of the common injuries we see at Performance Health are listed below.
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow)
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) is characterized by pain, inflammation and stiffness in the elbow joint. The medial epicondyle is a bony bump on the inside of the humerus, where tendons and muscles of the forearm attach to the elbow.
Damage to these muscles and tendons due to repeated strain can lead to pain felt on the inside of the elbow (a similar condition “Tennis elbow” results in pain felt on the outside of the elbow joint).
The pain may worsen when swinging a golf club (hence the name “Golfer’s elbow”) or racquet, or picking something up with your palm facing down. Tingling, numbness and muscle weakness or cramping may accompany the pain.
Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is a type of elbow strain that results from tiny tears to the tendons and muscles of the forearm. The lateral epicondyle is a bony bump on the outside of the humerus, where the tendons and muscles of the forearm attach to the elbow.
Direct trauma or overuse of these tendons and muscles may cause persistent pain, inflammation and stiffness felt on the outside of the elbow joint. The pain may worsen in response to movements such as turning a doorknob, or playing racquet sports.