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1 posts from December 2009

December 26, 2009

“Why Does Your Shoulder Hurt?”

“Why Does Your Shoulder Hurt?”
Why does 22 percent of the population have shoulder pain? Why do people have pain – all these people have pain at night or during the day? The answer lies within what happens to the musculature or the muscles around the shoulder as one ages. Keep in mind that shoulder pain incidents increases dramatically after age 40, but it is also fairly common below age 40. A lot of the problem lies in how people try to exercise their shoulders. They typically engage the large muscles around the shoulder, and not the muscles within the shoulders. The muscles within the shoulder are the rotator cuff muscles, and they are basically keeping the top of the arm bone in the shoulder joint. Once the muscles of the rotator cuff are de-conditioned, the arm bone tends to start pinching off the top of the rotator cuff, and that starts the problem of rotator cuff tendonitis.

Consider a few statistics. First of all, 60 percent of 60 year olds have a rotator cuff tear. There are not that many 60 year old people with shoulder pain, so clearly there are a lot of people walking around without shoulder pain, but do have a rotator cuff tear. The other thing to consider is that 22 percent of the population has shoulder pain at any one time, and 90 percent of this pain is at least partially due to rotator cuff problems. This is clearly an epidemic, and we need to use some resources and some good thinking and research dollars to figure out how to fix this without major surgery.