It is difficult to imagine anyone playing sports such as basketball or volleyball without making use of the shoulder joint. The skill that is needed to manipulate the ball and perform any of the superior skills you see on TV cannot be achieved without involving the shoulders. In this article, we will describe in detail what a sprained shoulder is, the signs and symptoms you will notice if you have a sprained shoulder and how to go about treating it.
Are you an athlete or just an individual who performs energy-intensive activities that involve using the hand and shoulder? If yes, then you are going to want to learn everything you can about your shoulder and how you can take care of it. Shoulders are the most complicated joint in the body so if you are having issues it may be best to seek professional help.
What Is A Sprained Shoulder?
A shoulder sprain is a tear of the ligaments that surround the shoulder. Ligaments are short, strong, fibrous tissues that usually join one bone to another bone. Although you may be tempted to think of the shoulder as a single joint, ligaments of the shoulder connect the following bones to the other:
- The scapula (which is also known as the shoulder blade)
- The acromion (which is a knob that can be found on top of the scapula)
- The clavicle (which is also known as the collarbone)
- The sternum (which is also known as the breastbone)
A sprain is a tear in any of the ligaments that join the bones listed above.
There are two major classifications of a shoulder sprain. They are:
- The acromioclavicular joint sprain
- The sternoclavicular joint sprain
Based on the severity of the ligament rupture, the acromioclavicular joint sprain and the sternoclavicular joint sprain can be further categorized into grades.
What Causes A Sprained Shoulder?
Your shoulder can become sprained when:
- Your arm is suddenly twisted
- When you try to break your fall by falling on your outstretched arm
- You get involved in an accident and there is a direct impact on your shoulder
- You are involved in contact sports
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Sprained Shoulder?
- Pain when lifting your arm
- Pain while resting your arm
- Limitation of movements in the shoulder
- Pain when you lie on the affected shoulder
- The stiffness of the shoulder
- Clicking sounds heard in the shoulder
Sprained Shoulder Treatment
- For the immediate treatment of a sprained shoulder, you can do the following: Apply ice to the sprained shoulder, compress the shoulder using bandages, rest the shoulder and elevate the shoulder joint.
At the hospital, the following will be done:
- Medical History and Physical Examination -The Doctor will ask some questions about the signs and symptoms we have discussed earlier. Some of these questions include- when the pain started, the duration of the pain, what you have done to manage the pain so far. The provider will physically examine you to confirm the diagnosis
- Investigation: Doctor will ask for an X-ray image an MRI or a CT scan to also confirm the diagnosis.
- Treatment: The Doctor will place you on drugs to relieve the pain you might be feeling. The Doctor will also refer you to a Physical Therapist for rehabilitation or a Surgeon for definitive treatment if the injury to your ligaments is severe.
Sprained Shoulder Prevention
Precautions to take to avoid having a sprained shoulder include:
- Wear protective shoulder padding during high impact sports.
- If you have had a sprained shoulder before, you should contact your Physiotherapist for shoulder strengthening exercises.
Find The Best Healthcare Providers for a Sprained Shoulder
If you realize that you have tried doing things on your own to heal your sprained shoulder, but it doesn’t appear to be working, you need to work with a sports medicine professional. Kho Health can help to link you up with the best local providers.