Does your shoulder hurt? When lifting the arm sideways or when you raise the arm in front of your body? The pain initially resembles a needlestick, but can quickly become a knife-like pain. Partially it pulls into the upper arm.
Shoulder pain is in most cases a so-called soft tissue pain. It does not come from the bones, but from muscles, tendons, joint capsules, bursa and synovial fluid. Experts estimate that three to four million Germans are treated annually for their painful shoulders.
The most common symptoms of shoulder pain
While one shoulder pain is often ignored because you hardly feel it, the other can be very severe. Often additional signs accompany the actual shoulder pain, which can then also be traced back to problems of the shoulders. According to experts, this includes:
– the inability to lift anything
spells of weakness
cold feeling in the shoulder
Tingling of the shoulder
numbness of the shoulder
Shoulder pain in tendinitis
The shoulder is by far the most mobile joint in the human body. The shoulder joint is guided exclusively with the help of muscles and tendons, from which it also receives its stability. Tendons are the white part of a muscle fiber that radiates into the bones. On the other hand, the red part of a muscle is called a muscle belly. The tendons of the shoulder joint can become chronically inflamed (arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis). The most common reason for this is wear (arthrosis). If tendinitis involves certain shoulder muscles such as the so-called rotator cuff – Musculus supraspinatus, Musculus infraspinatus and Musculus teres minor – one feels local pain at the top and sides of the shoulder, in addition the larger muscular tuberosity on the humerus (tubercle majus humeri) hurts.
Shoulder pain due to rotator cuff damage
The so-called rotator cuff, which cannot be seen from the outside because it overlays the strong triangular deltoid muscle (deltoid), is a muscle group in the shoulder to which four muscles/tendons belong:
Upper shoulder bone muscle (Musculus supraspinatus)
Upper posterior muscle (external rotator muscle, infraspinatus muscle)
posterior muscle (external rotator muscle, teres minor muscle)
anterior muscle (subscapular muscle)
The rotator cuff ensures that we can move the shoulder painlessly and acts as a stabilizer of the shoulder joint.
According to experts, small tears in the tendons of the rotator cuff can remain symptom-free or lead to steadily increasing symptoms over a period of 24 to 48 hours. If you hear a “snap sound”, the cracks are usually larger. In this case, the affected person feels pain in front of or to the side of the bony protrusion of the shoulder blade (acromion). The pain extends to the shoulder blade and/or muscles as well as the forearm. They increase when the arm is spread against resistance. Turning inwards is also painful. In addition, one feels pain when pressing on the larger muscular tuberosity at the humerus (tubercle majus humeri).
The painful shoulder stiffness: Frozen Shoulder
If the movement of the shoulder joint is severely restricted or every movement causes pain, doctors speak of a so-called painful shoulder stiffness (also known as Frozen Shoulder or Periarthrosis humeroscapularis adhesiva, PHS). The pain that accompanies the shoulder stiffness increases especially when the arm is turned inwards or outwards. The pain often draws into the so-called deltoid muscle. The painful shoulder stiffness is often found in older patients.