Shoulder Injury

Types of shoulder injury

Broken collarbone (clavicle)

This is one of the most common shoulder injuries and is often caused by a fall; many fractures are caused by an individual falling onto their hand as the pressure rises up the arm and impacts on the collarbone. Common symptoms include pain in the affected area and bruising; in some cases the bone may protrude through the skin. Treatment will usually involve resting the arm using a sling; however, more serious fractures may require surgery.

Dislocated shoulder

A dislocated shoulder is one of the most painful sporting injuries and is common in contact sports such as rugby. Often a dislocation occurs after a high speed or powerful impact on the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint must be returned to its original position; usually this will require a trip to hospital. Following a dislocation, the affected arm will be put in a sling to allow the injury to heal. Initial treatment will usually involved ice compressions and pain relief. After a period of time, most people start to undertake gently physiotherapy; this will help to restore normal movement and build up strength in and round the joint.

Rotator cuff injuries

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles; damage to these muscles is a common cause of should pain. The most common rotator cuff injury is rotator cuff tendonitis, which occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Tendonitis is commonly treated with a mixture of ice, rest and medication. Tears can also occur in the rotator cuff (this usually affects the tendon, rather than the muscle fibres); most cases are treated by surgery.

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