The shoulder is one of the most complicated joints in the human body. There are several tendons that attach at the shoulder and when your shoulder is giving you problems, it can hinder your ability to move your arm by quite a bit. You will need to have a doctor examine you and possibly see a specialist to determine the extent of your injury or chronic pain.
One common diagnosis that you may get is rotator cuff tendinosis. This condition can be either chronic or sudden onset. In sudden onset, it is typically the result of an accident of some sort, in which a tear or sprain has happened. This happens in sports or in car accidents. You might even have an incident at work that causes this diagnosis. Chronic tendinosis of the rotator cuff is typically caused by repetitive motion that irritates an older injury to the tissues of the shoulder.
The irritations to the injury are caused by small tears of the muscle and tendons that heal and accrue scar tissue. This scar tissue can cause constant irritation to the joint and when it is strained or over-stimulated from constant movement, pain can be the result. Resting the arm will typically help alleviate the pain when over-use is the problem. Doctors may suggest taking ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation as well.
Chronic tendinosis is most often seen in the supraspinatus tendon. This is the tendon that is located at the top of the shoulder and is used in moving the arm upward and outward, away from the body. Since this is a common movement, the chronic aggravation from this tendon being inflamed can be very painful and debilitating.
Excessive use of the shoulder should be out of the question while you heal. Healing a shoulder is a very slow process. Cold compression is often recommended to reduce the inflammation that causes the tendons to swell and irritate each other within the area of the joint. This capsulated area is only of a certain size, when the irritated tendons heal, there is typically scar tissue that causes a thickening of the tendons. Since they share the same sized space, this can make it easy to constantly irritate, so it is recommended that stressful exercise be avoided, but heat therapy can help benefit the joint with physical therapy to gradually strengthen the joint again.
There has been success in using electromagnetic therapy for some people. The deeper the joint can be heated and stimulated, the better the therapy. Immobilization of the shoulder for a while, while healing can happen, may also be necessary. A doctor will thoroughly examine your shoulder, may request z-rays and even an MRI to come to full conclusions of your diagnosis and treatment path. The main thing for you to do is to see the doctor as soon as you can, as soon as you detect pain. Not being treated quickly can cause further damage that will stay with you and become chronic pain as you age.