What Could Be Behind Your Shoulder Pain?

March 8, 2021

It’s common to receive a patient in any physiotherapy clinic in Dubai complaining of shoulder pain. The sensation can range from being dull, sore, shooting, or burning in the upper back or between the shoulder blades. Without treatment, shoulder pain can make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks like driving, brushing your hair, or grabbing an object overhead. Below are some of the possible causes of shoulder pain.

Rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff consists of four muscles and their tendons located around the shoulder joint, connecting the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. Injuries to these muscles usually occur through overuse. Physical activities such as moving heavy furniture, painting a ceiling, or playing softball could make your upper back and shoulders do more work than they’re used to. This can lead to muscle strains and cause pain between the shoulder blades and upper back. Treatment involves rest, ice therapy, rotator cuff surgery recovery, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Poor posture

For most of our lives, we’ve been reminded to ‘stop slouching’ or to ‘sit up straight’ and for a good reason. Prolonged sitting with poor posture will cause the spine to undergo structural changes, increasing the risk of developing thoracic kyphosis. It can also weaken the muscles in the front of the neck and mid-back region near the shoulder blades. Over time, you’ll begin to feel pressure on your upper back or stiffness in your neck and shoulders. It is only a matter of time before you start complaining of aches and pain.

Rotator cuff tears

If your shoulder pain persists at night making it difficult to sleep or wakes you up, there may be a tear in one or more of your rotator cuff tendons. Other symptoms include feeling pain when lifting your arms overhead and weakness when lifting any object above shoulder level. It can happen from a movement that is repeated over time. For instance, plumbers who regularly use their arms overhead are more susceptible to rotator cuff tears. Patients are advised to rest, undergo physical therapy, and take medications. Surgery repair can also be considered.

Frozen shoulder

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a common disorder that causes stiffness, pain, and restricted range of motion in the shoulder. The disability could get serious if not treated immediately. It usually occurs after the shoulders are immobilized for a long time due to injury, surgery, or illness. Frozen shoulder treatment is focused on relieving pain and physical therapy to restore the shoulder’s normal range of motion. To decrease the risk of frozen shoulder, exercise and postoperative physiotherapy during recovery are a must.

Improper lifting technique

Improper lifting technique

Lifting heavy objects above your head without using the proper technique can make your shoulders susceptible to injury. Improper lifting causes the spine to misalign, placing undue pressure on your upper back. This can strain your muscles, ligaments, and potentially injure the shoulder joints or spine, causing referred pain under or near the shoulder blades. To avoid this, make sure to lift with your legs and not with your back. Stand close to the object, bend your legs, keep your back straight, then lift.

If you have mild shoulder pain, try adjusting your activities, do some stretching, or rest for a few days to see if it improves on its own. However, if shoulder pain is severe, unusual, or doesn’t go away, see a doctor immediately. Getting a proper diagnosis will help you start the journey to relief. You can rely on the experts at Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center to be with you every step of the way! Their specialties include post-operative shoulder rehabilitation, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports massage, and more. Contact +971 4 551 6126 to book an appointment today.