The shoulder provides the greatest range of motion in the body, and consists of 3 bones forming a ball and socket joint held in a stable position by tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The shoulder allows lifting and rotation of the arms in multiple directions.
Shoulder injuries frequently occur during sports, especially those that require repetitive and excessive overhead motion such as tennis, badminton, swimming and weightlifting. Injuries may also occur during daily activities such as hanging the laundry. Shoulder problems may be minor or serious, depending on the severity of the injury and how long it has been left untreated. In this section, we look at the common shoulder injuries, key signs and symptoms, as well as the treatment options available.
Trauma may fracture the bones that make up the shoulder. Symptoms of a shoulder fracture include pain, tenderness, swelling, deformity or discoloration at the affected area, as well as limitation in movement. For minor cases, treatment usually requires immobilisation with a sling support until the bone fragments heal. This normally takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Should the impact result in the bone breaking and displacing from its original position, surgical intervention may be recommended.
Shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone pops out of the socket that is part of the shoulder blade, often caused by a fall or during contact sports. Common signs and symptoms include intense pain, a visibly out-of-place shoulder, swelling or bruising, numbing sensation along the neck area, and inability to move the shoulder. If treated immediately, shoulder function can be fully regained. However, in some cases, the shoulder joint becomes unstable after a dislocation event. As a result, the shoulder will become more prone to future dislocations. If you suspect that you have a dislocated shoulder, seek medical help promptly to avoid any long-term complications