My shoulder hurts...is it osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a very common problem. Most people know someone who is dealing with arthritis of at least one joint. Spine, hips, knees, and hands are the most common places for osteoarthritis to cause symptoms. However, any joint can be affected and a common question I hear when a patient presents with shoulder pain is: Do I have arthritis?
First, a bit of anatomy -- the shoulder is composed of two separate joints:
(1) the acromioclavicular joint where the collarbone meets the shoulder bone (2) the glenohumeral joint where the ball of the humerus articulates with the shoulder blade (scapula). Both joints can be affected by osteoarthritis. It is relatively uncommon for osteoarthritis to develop in the glenohumeral joint without a history of trauma or previous injury. We'll discuss that in a minute. First, let's review the acromioclavicular joint.
Causes of Shoulder Pain Besides Arthritis The glenohumeral joint is the most mobile j...
A recent task force has determined that women are at higher risk for developing neck pain than men. What accounts for this gender difference? A number of factors contribute to neck pain including coping skills, personalities, work environments and physical activities. But, as a patient eloquently stated while lifting her shirt, "What about these?" Are breasts a major contributor to the higher incidence of neck pain in women? In 1996, our judicial system examined the evidence and determined (Bancroft v Tecumseh Products) that breast reduction surgery was indeed medically necessary to relieve headache , neck pain and shoulder pain. This verdict establishes the cause and effect relationship between breasts and neck pain.
A closer examination into the breast risk factor can illuminate a multitude of reasons why size A, B, C, D, or DD really matters to the spine. Let's think in terms of triple "B's".
B reasts :
Are your breasts big, small, not at all (absent) or just righ...
Back pain - nonspecific
The majority of nonspecific back pain is probably caused by muscle strain. This usually responds to 2-5 days of rest and pain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents -- ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, etc.), followed by gradual return to activities. Medications may be needed to reduce muscle spasms.
Physical therapy is often prescribed to instruct the patient on proper body mechanics (such as good posture and lifting correctly) and to improve strength and flexibility in the spine, abdomen, and legs.
Surgery is not useful for the treatment of nonspecific back pain.
Most cases of nonspecific back pain resolve on their own or respond to treatment. It is helpful to sleep on a firm mattress, with a board under the mattress, or even on the floor. Heat or ice applied to the affected area may provide some relief.
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