Subacromial Shoulder Pain
It is a common condition that causes pain around the shoulder. Subacromial shoulder pain is sometimes referred to as shoulder impingement, subacromial bursitis, or supraspinatus tendinopathy. Pain can radiate down to the elbow or up across the top of the shoulder blade to the neck. Patients often experience pain on lifting the arm above shoulder height. Pain can sometimes affect sleep as patients find it painful to lay on the affected side. A great patient information resource with home exercise program by the British Elbow & Shoulder Society can be found here.
Frozen shoulder also called adhesive capsulitis is an inflammatory condition which causes pain and eventual stiffness in the shoulder. There is no known cause of frozen shoulder but people with diabetes can have more severe diseases and it can be present in both shoulders at the same time. As the stiffness develops gradually, frozen shoulder often gets missed early until the stiffness is obvious. Patients often experience difficulty reaching out to the side, putting on coats or jackets, and reaching behind to put on a seatbelt. Frozen shoulder often results in night pain which affects sleep. More information can be found on our Frozen Shoulder page.
Rotator Cuff Tears
Most rotator cuff tears are chronic resulting from degeneration of the tendon fibres that slowly fail over time. Most patients over the age of 60 have rotator cuff tears without knowing it as the process is so gradual that the other muscles around the shoulder often compensate for the torn tendon. In some cases, however, the tear either becomes too big or a small injury occurs which means the other muscles no longer compensate and the condition becomes painful. Rotator cuff tendon pain is classically worse at night, is located around the shoulder, and can extend down to the elbow. More information can be found on our Rotator Cuff page.
Calcific tendonitis is a very painful condition in which calcium is deposited in the rotator cuff tendons. In some patients these calcium deposits become inflamed resulting in pain. Calcific tendonitis is one of the most painful conditions in the shoulder and patients often describe waking up one day suddenly in pain with no injury or trigger. The severe pain often limits shoulder movement and disturbs sleep. Patients often need early diagnosis and treatment to help manage the debilitating pain.
The main shoulder joint, otherwise called the glenohumeral joint, can undergo degeneration of the cartilage resulting in osteoarthritis. Like in other joints such as the knee and hip, shoulder osteoarthritis causes pain and progressive stiffness. Early on patients may notice a grating sensation as they move their arm as the rough cartilage of the ball rub against the socket. Osteoarthritis often causes pain that is worse at the end of the day and affects sleep at night.
If you or someone you know are struggling with shoulder pain, book a consultation via the website, subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see our patient information videos on shoulder and elbow conditions, or follow-us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @ShoulderLondon .