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Causes of shoulder pain

Causes of shoulder pain

Arthritis of the shoulder is an inflammation of the joint. It causes pain which occurs either at rest, or is provoked by certain movements.

What is it?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the joint; in particular, the tendons and ligaments.
"Arthritis of the shoulder" is therefore a rather general term used to describe pain occurring in this region.

The causes of arthritis 

The most common cause of shoulder pain is tendonitis. Tendonitis is linked to the repetition of certain movements, usually elevation of the arm, which causes the tendons situated at the end of the humerus to rub against each other. The pain is often triggered by the same movement.

The pain may also be the result of the presence of tendon calcification which causes  inflammation around the joint and can sometimes cause bouts of pain.

Sometimes the pain occurs within the membrane surrounding the joint- the capsule. Inflammation in this location is called capsulitis. All movements, both active and passive, are painful. Since the shoulder stiffens, the term "frozen shoulder" is used.

Other pains are caused by the complete or partial rupture of a tendon attaching a muscle to a bone. It can affect the rotator cuff, i.e. the muscles responsible for the shoulder's mobility. In this case, we refer to a rotator cuff rupture.

How is it treated?

It is important to accurately determine the cause of your pain in order to administer appropriate treatment.

Physical exercises and certain movements, or even physiotherapy, can be enough to treat arthritis.

Analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication is sometimes necessary.

Corticosteroid injections are very effective. Surgery may be necessary in certain cases.

Causes of shoulder pain

Causes of shoulder pain

Periarthritis is a painful inflammation of the shoulder with various causes. Exercise, medication or surgery may be necessary.

Updated September 2011

Publication date:   8/9/16
Date of modification:  10/10/11

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