The shoulder is the most movable and the most fragile joint in the body. The flexibility of the shoulder makes it prone to both sudden injury and chronic wear. After age 40, many problems are caused by the effect of repeated overhead motions for a long period of time. Weekend athletes and do-it-yourselfers are especially vulnerable to overuse problems in the shoulder. The leading causes of shoulder pain are bursitis, tendonitis and irritated rotator cuff. This group of conditions is called shoulder impingement syndrome.
What is bursitis? The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions the rotator cuff tendons from the shoulder bone. An irritated bursa is caused by an inflamed rotator cuff. When irritated, the bursa produces extra fluid, the sac expands and the pressure creates pain.
What is tendonitis? Deep in the shoulder are a group of tendons and muscles called the rotator cuff. They help stabilize the upper arm bone in the shoulder joint and rotate the arm. The biceps tendon is located in front of the shoulder. When the arm is raised repeatedly over the head, the tendons rub against the underside of the shoulder bone and become irritated. The tendons swell, leaving even less space between tendons and bone. This creates more irritation, like a rope being drawn again and again across a craggy rock.
Meet The Team Cathy Fieseler, MD William R. Hobbs, MD Mark Hubert, MD Roger L. McCown II, DO Jayesh Patel, MD William F. Phillips III, MD Paul Rath, MD Adam Schneider, MD Joshua D. Stein, MD Allison Tobola, MD Thomas B. Volatile, MD