The shoulder joint is an amazing and peculiar joint of the human body. And if you happen to suffer from the left shoulder pain, the treatment will, of course, depend on the reason of the phenomenon. This joint is more functional than others. But very often we forget that we cannot constantly overload the joints. The same applies to the shoulder joints. Their overloads and improper use are only possible to a certain extent. Once you may feel a sudden sharp pain in left shoulder which may violate the functions of the joint. If not treated right, the problem and the pain can turn chronic.
The shoulder may ache for many reasons and the pain is a symptom of a serious disease. It should be immediately diagnosed and treated. Avoid self-medication as it may only worsen the situation. Only a professional will differentiate the pain and prescribe the appropriate treatment. No matter whether it is a severe pain that you experience or a mild feeling of discomfort, it is better to contact an expert.
Why May Pain Syndrome Occur?
We often suffer from pain in the shoulders if we have a wrong posture, lack physical activities, or when we overload the shoulder joint. A shoulder may start aching if we left our traumas improperly treated, or if there had been any muscle or tendon ruptures, as well as a shoulder dislocation.
A frozen shoulder or subacromial bursitis (which affects thoracic ganglions or cervical nodes of sympathetic trunk) is a common cause of pain in the shoulder.
Often, pain in the shoulder joint occurs in people whose profession involves continuous overloads of the shoulder joint, like those of professional athletes (from raising their hands, in a standing position, or bench pressing, etc.).
As long as there are various causes of pain in the shoulder joints (left or right), only a doctor will find the reason and help you deal with the problem efficiently and professionally. One should pay attention if it is pain on left side of your body for it signals of various diseases not even associated with the spine or the shoulder joint itself.
Major Left Shoulder Pain Causes
In the majority of cases, left shoulder pain (or right shoulder, it is rarely bilateral) is caused by the following diseases:
- Tendonitis of the tendons around the left shoulder joint makes the most common of the left shoulder pain causes. The inflammation most commonly appears because of excessive loads (e.g. playing golf or cutting firewood, there is friction between the bone and the tendon). That leads to irritation and pain.
- Biceps tendinitis (bicep is a muscle on the inside of the shoulder, which goes from the shoulder to the elbow area). It manifests itself with chronic pain and gets worse when the area is touched or moved. In case of a complete rupture of the biceps tendon, swelling appears on the shoulder.
- Bursitis is indeed a companion of tendonitis and a reason of pain in the left shoulder. It is associated with overloads as well. Though it has a wider range of manifestations. The muscle pain is accompanied by swelling of the joint capsule (a soft sac surrounding the joint).
- If you feel pain in your left shoulder when you raise your arm, the reason is probably calcination which leads to the mineralization of joint tendons. This process occurs in the tendon under the shoulder blade and collar bone. Most of these processes take place at the age from 30 to 50. The patient experiences constant pain in the shoulder but it appears suddenly. Moving the joint hurts (abduction of the arm for 30-90 degrees). Sometimes the problem of calcination is asymptomatic and is accidentally revealed during an X-ray or other examination.
- Pain in left shoulder and arm may be associated with trauma and rarely with tumors and congenital anatomical anomalies. When one falls, the humerus can shift in a way that the upper arm is literally flying out of the deepening of the joint. When leaning on the arm while falling, there can occur a rupture of the muscles tendons (which provide the rotation of the arm). Unless treated properly, the trauma may further turn into a permanent disability of the shoulder functions.
- Shoulder traumas often happen to the athletes and young people. Shooting pain in the left shoulder (or right shoulder) may be caused by recurrent dislocation of the shoulder. Adults experience the injuries of the shoulder joint structures due to the aging of tissues or the onset of osteoporosis.
- Pain in the left shoulder is one of the most widely spread problems of bodybuilders. Such an injury often prevents the athletes from a number of exercises. The main reason is the instability of the shoulder joint. Pain may result from the stress in the joint capsule of the shoulder girdle and excessive work of its muscles which are trying to keep the central position of the humeral head in the glenoid bag for the joint to work properly. What is more, pain may be caused by laceration of the cartilage rings located along the glenoid cavity.
- Very often, the pain in left shoulder and chest appears because of the diseases of the internal organs. It radiates to the shoulder. For instance, pain in left shoulder blade may be a sign of myocardial infarction, angina, pneumonia, or cervical radiculitis, as well as tumors in the chest.
- The main sign of scapulohumeral periarthrosis is pain in the left shoulder. The pain often appears gradually and progresses. It often prevents the patients from sleeping and greatly affects the daily activities. The movements of joints in several directions are painful. Pain in left shoulder and arm can affect the forearm and hand as well. This pain feels differently: burning, aching, or shooting, etc. The hand can radiate to the other parts of the body (this may be a reason of left shoulder and neck pain). The disease can last from several weeks to several months. The outcome also varies. One may completely recover (even without any medication) or face the blocked shoulder. If a person suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, he or she will probably suffer from the violations of hand function.
Diagnosis and Treatment of the Shoulder Pathologies
As we have seen, the pain in the shoulder girdle is caused by a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to get a diagnose from a professional and choose treatment strategy. It is necessary to visit a therapist and a neurologist. If during the examination they find the diseases of the internal organs that ache and radiate to the shoulder, it is necessary to visit the specialists and start the treatment.
A comprehensive approach to treatment is highly recommended. It focuses on the causes of the disease, treatment that interrupts the development of the disease, elimination of symptoms, and restoration of the joint functions. If the treatment strategy is coordinated in all the directions mentioned above, pain can be eliminated quite quickly and without complications.
- With arthritis, arthrosis, and bursitis the doctors prescribe NSAIDs and cartilage protectors. When for some reason the disease has not been treated and these drugs are useless, one has to resort to the use of hormones and narcotic analgesics to reduce the suffering of the patient. Such drugs are used as well in the case of progression of malignant tumors. But quite often conservative treatment of such diseases as deforming arthrosis of the shoulder joint turns ineffective. Therefore, surgical treatment is used, and its most efficient method for today is replacement arthroplasty.
- Periarthritis is treated with analgesics, anti-inflammatory agents (these are injected into the intra-articular capsule), procaine blocks, and acupuncture. If there is a serious inflammation, doctors use glucocorticosteroid drugs in the form of ointments and injections.
- Yoga is very good for pain in the shoulder both in women and men. It relaxes the muscular mechanism of our body which is very useful for it, especially for the neck and shoulders. Electrophoresis, magnetic therapy, anti-inflammatory ointments, and bischofite compresses are used as well.
But remember that under no circumstances should one use self-medication for the diseases of the shoulder joints. The information on the Internet is published for reference purposes only, not for self-medication. The treatment should be individual and professional. All you can do on your own is keep yourself fit and decrease the constant stress on the joints. Remember not to supercool or injure the joints. The diet should be balanced, too. And mind your posture, it is very important if you want to be healthy.