By: Dr James Earn
Study By: Dr Alex Robber
A pain in the muscles and joints in the shoulder area is often called shoulder pain. Usually, in tissues and bones in the shoulder, this pain originates. Most often, you feel this pain when you are doing some physical activity and move your arms. Rest of the time, you might feel a nonstop pain in your shoulder.
A lot of questions arise in your mind if you are having shoulder pain. Out of all questions, one question that comes to your mind is that if there is any relation between shoulder pain and fibromyalgia. For a better understanding of the relationship between shoulder pain and fibromyalgia, we should know what actually causes shoulder pain.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
Three different bones exist in the shoulder that is upper arm bone, collarbone and the shoulder blade. The arm bone assembles in an opening in the shoulder blade. The muscles and tendons then try to ensure that this opening is safe and the arm is safe in this opening. An inflammation, tear in tendons, infection, a fracture, arthritis, damage or broken bone usually makes you feel pain in the shoulder.
Our muscles are held to our bones by tendons. But these tendons can wear down over time just like everything else. People who regularly perform physical activities will have tendons that wear down a lot faster than people who don’t do such things.
Our tendons are more likely to be suffering from injury or get torn, as these tendons wear down. This injury can come suddenly or develop as time passes, and if they are not good, there are chances of the tendon to be split up.
Shoulder pain can also be caused due to the pressure applied to the tissues by shoulder blade. These tissues are rubbed against the top of the shoulder blade and lead to pain in tendons as well when the arm is working or is involved in some physical activity. The pain and severity level increases in the arm, no matter what movement you make.
For instance, you might have interest in playing baseball on regular basis and move your arm by pitching the ball above the head. Due to this kind of injury called shoulder impingement here, you will not be able to perform that kind of activity altogether.
Arthritis is one of the most usual reasons behind shoulder pain. There are a lot of types of arthritis as well. The reason for a lot of its types is that arthritis can occur in various parts of the body. Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis that happens in the shoulder. Its symptoms include stiffness and pain in shoulder and swelling.
If you are having symptoms of osteoarthritis and these symptoms are going for the long time period, you should immediately have a look at it because these symptoms will only worsen the situation. People who are middle-aged are usually found with osteoarthritis, as there are various factors that cause it like joints inflammation, trauma, infection or sports.
People who have osteoarthritis have one reaction in common and that is not moving their shoulder to reduce pain, but the bad news is, it will make the thing even worse and will result in more stiffening of the shoulder.
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Fracture is also a major cause of shoulder pain. When bones in the body are broken, fracture exists and collarbone, upper arm bone and shoulder blade are the commonly broken bones that can cause shoulder pain.
Physical traumas like a sports injury, falling down or having an accident result in shoulder fractures and broken bones.
The affected area starts to swell due to fracture, thus causing an intense pain. You should seek some medical attention from your doctor as early as possible if you are having a fracture. The doctor will diagnose where the fracture has occurred and given you treatment according to your fracture.
Shoulder pain and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a mystery for the medical world because we haven’t discovered all the causes of it and how it develops. More than 10 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, the majority of it is women. It is also believed that fibromyalgia occurs due to the family history of occurrence of fibromyalgia, like someone in the family has fibromyalgia, so there are chances of other family members to develop it too. Moreover, women who are middle-aged are considered to develop more fibromyalgia, yet it also occurs in teenagers, men, and children too.
Fatigue and muscle pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. This pain gets so severe that the patient can’t even get out of the bed for much of the day. He can’t even perform routine activities. This muscle pain mostly occurs in back, thighs, neck, chest, rib cage and shoulders and would get worse over time.
18 tender points are there in the body. The patient should have pain in at least 11 tender points to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Some of these tender points are located in shoulders. Two options are there to see the relationship between fibromyalgia and shoulder pain, only if you are suffering from shoulder pain.
- You are just feeling pain in these tender points located in the shoulder and you aren’t having any pain in other tender points. So, you don’t have fibromyalgia, you might have other reasons for this pain that we have discussed earlier.
- You are also having pain in other tender points also along with shoulder, so there are chances that the shoulder pain could be a part of fibromyalgia.
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