What are the different types of shoulder injuries?

shutterstock 1207544068 When you’ve suffered from a shoulder injury, you likely experience a pain in the shoulder or shoulder blade that radiates down the arm. Read on to learn more about the different types of shoulder injuries and what you need to know about them.


In addition to pain in the shoulder or shoulder blade that may radiate down the arm, other symptoms of shoulder injuries include a weakness or tingling in the arm, a popping or clicking sensation in the joint, pain when lying down or sleeping and limited range of motion, such as trying to raise the arm overhead. If you’ve dislocated your shoulder, you will notice an obvious malformation. 

Rotator cuff tear

A sports injury or repetitive overhead motions may lead to a rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff is a group of tissues that holds the ball of the upper arm in the socket of the shoulder. If it’s a partial rotator cuff tear, then you may only need nonsurgical treatment for repair. If conservative methods don’t work then you may need arthroscopic shoulder surgery. 

Rotator cuff tendinitis

This inflammatory condition affects the muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff and worsens progressively over time. If you do repetitive overhead lifting or are a side sleeper, you put pressure on the shoulder joint. Most tendinitis responds well to conservative treatment.

Shoulder arthritis

When the articular cartilage that forms a smooth outer covering over bone tissue wears down, it’s known as shoulder osteoarthritis. This worsens over time and may require surgery, especially if bones begin to run against one another. 

Frozen shoulder

When the connective tissue around the shoulder joint becomes stiff, you will develop pain. The more pain, the less the shoulder moves, which is where this condition gets its name. If improvement doesn’t occur with conservative measures, arthroscopy surgery may be necessary.   

There are more types of shoulder injuries, so it’s important to seek medical attention early to know when to try conservative treatment and when you will need interventional treatment. To learn more about shoulder injuries, call (219) 795-3360 and schedule an appointment. Many patients see a primary healthcare provider or urgent care physician initially but then may be referred to a specialist who has more extensive training in treating shoulder injuries.

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