Your shoulders are some of the most moveable joints in your body. This means that they can be unstable, which can lead to injuries. In 2006, approximately 7.5 million people went to the doctor’s office due to a shoulder injury. Over half of these ended up being an injury to the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff injuries are one of the most common shoulder injuries. Today, we’ll be going over the three most common shoulder injuries, some prevention tips, and treatment recommendations.

Rotator Cuff Injuries: These are extremely common shoulder injuries. Injuries located in the rotator cuff can range anywhere from a torn rotator cuff to a strain or sprained rotator cuff. The symptoms range from severe pain to gradual & chronic pain, depending on the type of injury. The recommended treatment for this kind of injury will vary, but Dr. Hicken may recommend one or a combination of the following treatments:

  • Rest
  • Heat or cold to the sore area
  • Medicines that reduce pain and swelling
  • Electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves
  • Ultrasound
  • Cortisone injection
  • Surgery

Sprains & Strains: The shoulder joint is surrounded by ligaments, muscles, and tendons. A sprain or a strain of these is a common injury sustained in the shoulder. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament and a strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. The symptoms of a sprain or strain include pain, muscle spasms, swelling, and trouble moving the muscle. At first, treatment of both sprains and strains usually involves resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage or device that compresses the area, and medicines. Later, treatment might include exercise and physical therapy.

Dislocation: This can either be a full or partial dislocation. The most common causes of dislocations are sports injuries, falling on your shoulder or outstretched arm, and accidents including traffic accidents. A dislocation can make your shoulder unstable. When that happens, it takes less force to dislocate it. This means that there is a higher risk of it happening again. Dr. Hicken can give you some exercises to practice that will strengthen your shoulder and decrease your risk of another dislocation.

Potential treatments range from conservative to surgical, depending on the severity of the injury. Whether you’re considering a more conservative approach or surgery, physical therapy is an important part of your healing. Consistently going to your appointments and performing your at-home exercises can speed up your healing progress significantly. 

Dr. Hicken specializes in shoulder injuries and treatment of the shoulder. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, you can trust Dr. Hicken to diagnose your pain correctly and create a treatment plan to get you on the path to recovery. Whether more conservative treatment or surgery is the best fit for your injury, Dr. Hicken will ensure you’re receiving treatment that will minimize pain and promote mobility and functionality. To schedule your appointment with him, give us a call at 435-787-2000.