Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex - (Page 107)
ORTHOPAEDICS – BONES, JOINTS AND LIGAMENTS
Suffering from pain in your shoulder can be a long-term problem – almost half of people still have symptoms 18 months after the discomfort starts
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WORDS: Holly Quayle | PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images
rthopaedics is the branch of medicine concerned with injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. Orthopaedic surgeons treat injuries, infections and cancers relating to this. Shoulder pain is the third most common cause of musculoskeletal complaints in the doctor’s surgery, and if it is not treated early on, you run the risk of causing further damage.
TREATMENT Left untreated, symptoms usually clear up on their own, but this is a long process and may take up to two or three years. The diagnosis of frozen shoulder is usually made by a GP examination, however, an X-ray or MRI scan may also be necessary. Paracetamol and an anti-inﬂammatory may be prescribed ﬁrst to try to control the pain and swelling. In some cases a steroid injection into, or near to, the shoulder joint can bring relief for several weeks, as steroids reduce inﬂammation. However, this is not a permanent solution, as symptoms tend to gradually return. Regular shoulder exercises FROZEN SHOULDER can help to stop the joint This is a condition where the shoulder from getting too stiff – a joint becomes painful and stiff, physiotherapist can give causing shoulder movement to expert advice on the be reduced. In some cases it can Most people who get best moves to use. become completely ‘frozen’ or frozen shoulder are An arthroscopic immobile, making everyday tasks between 40-60 years of capsular release may such as dressing near impossible. age. It is more common be needed in severe in women than men cases. This is a relatively WHAT CAUSES IT? Frozen shoulder small keyhole surgery, where affects around one in 50 adults at some the tight capsule of the joint is point in their life, and is primarily found released with a special radio-frequency probe. in patients between the ages of 40 and 60. People with diabetes, overactive thyroid disease and Parkinson’s disease also have an ROTATOR CUFF increased risk of developing the condition. TENDONITIS There is no known cause for this problem, This condition is one of the most common but it is thought that scar-like tissue forms in causes of all shoulder pain. It tends to appear the shoulder capsule, limiting space and motion. suddenly and the main symptom is pain when
moving the shoulder, especially when that arm is lifted above it or out to the side. WHAT CAUSES IT? The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint. The tendons of these muscles all join together to form one larger tendon, called the rotator cuff tendon. Rotator cuff tendonitis is caused when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated or inﬂamed. This is often caused by an injury, such as a fall, but it can also happen because of recent overuse of the shoulder, such as with athletes, particularly those who participate in throwing sports. In non-athletes it may be caused by heavy lifting or activities involving repetitive shoulder movements. TREATMENT Resting the shoulder is usually the best medicine for this condition – although there needs to be some movement to prevent the shoulder from freezing. Patients may be referred to a physiotherapist by their GP who will advise , on the best exercises to carry out. Painkillers and anti-inﬂammatories can also help to reduce the pain and internal swelling. If the shoulder is really painful, steroid injections might be recommended to reduce the swelling. Sometimes the rotator cuff tendons become calciﬁed. This is when calcium is deposited in the tendons, due to long-standing inﬂammation. Treatment is the same as rotator cuff tendonitis, but surgery can be required in severe cases.
Dr Hilary Jones’ Healthcare guide – Essex, Kent and Sussex 107
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex
A healthy hello from Dr Hilary
NEWS and views
the big interview
A weighty issue
fitness for free
DR HILARY ’S WELCOME
Make the right decision
choosing the best
Ear, nose and throat
obstetrics and gynaecology
Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex