Feel a sharp twinge in your shoulder as you grab for a container on a kitchen shelf? A dull ache while sliding your arm into a shirtsleeve?
It’s not surprising that shoulder pain sends millions of Americans to the doctor each year-shoulders are a complicated combination of joints, tendons, and muscles, responsible for a wide range of arm motions.
Causes of pain: Sometimes the reason is obvious, such as a fall that causes a fracture, dislocation, or tendon tear. But often pain comes on gradually and becomes chronic. In older adults, that’s usually due to osteoarthritis (OA)-when the protective cartilage between bones wears away-or, says Anand Murthi, M.D., chief of shoulder and elbow surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, chronic rotator cuff problems. (This group of muscles and tendons keeps your upper arm in the shoulder socket.)
Next: Handling moderate shoulder pain
Source: Consumer Reports on Health August 2018
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