Common causes of shoulder pain
WHAT IS A CALCIFIED SHOULDER?
A common cause of shoulder pain is the so-called calcified shoulder (tendinosis calcarea). However, it has nothing to do with the proverbial "calcification" of old age. Rather, it is an accumulation of calcium crystals on the tendons of the so-called rotator cuff (shoulder stabilising muscles). However, it is not yet fully understood why these deposits occur. It is assumed that small injuries, insufficient blood flow and overloading lead to the formation of fibrocartilage in the tendons. In a second stage, calcium crystals are deposited in these places.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON COMPLAINTS?
The symptoms can vary greatly. Up to 20% of those affected have no complaints and therefore do not need any therapy, as the calcium is not dangerous and there is no need to worry about later consequences. In most patients, the problems develop without a cause and can start suddenly or gradually. Patients often have shoulder pain at night or problems lifting the affected arm.
PAIN AT NIGHT OR WHEN LIFTING THE ARM
WHAT TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE THERE?
In principle, a calcified shoulder can heal by itself through a natural self-healing process, although the course is usually difficult to predict. Therefore, a therapy that accelerates the resorption of calcium makes sense in many cases in order to avoid pain in everyday life and during sports. The treatment depends on the stage of the disease and the shape, size and location of the calcium deposit.
Conservative treatment options include painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs, infiltrations and shock wave therapy. Under certain circumstances, surgery may be advisable to remove the calcium deposits. In addition, other possible damage (e.g. tendon damage) can also be treated during the operation. The operation is performed arthroscopically (minimally invasive) and in most cases can even be done in a day clinic. Immobilisation of the arm is not necessary in most cases.
If you have any questions about the treatment of calcified shoulder, please do not hesitate to contact me at my practice.