The body is a complex machine, and just like any machine, if something falls off the tracks it stops working. In this case, your arm might have been the thing that fell off the tracks. Injuries to the shoulder are common and challenging because of the complexity and delicacy of this joint. It is supported by the bones of the scapula, clavicle and humerus, and some ligaments. When people fall, the most common injury we see is a fracture of the humerus bone. If you fall on your shoulder, you may have a bump on your arm or even a hematoma.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
As hard as it is to see these injuries in action, they're very common. While you are at the hospital, your doctor can put a pin in your shoulder to immobilize it. While the pins keep you from moving your arm too much, he can still treat any fracture you may have that is causing pain. When an injury is severe enough that the joint cannot move fully, it is referred to as an immobile fracture. In some cases the bone may be sticking out of the skin or pus may be coming out of swollen tissue. For better understanding here are types of shoulder injuries:
1. Impaction fracture
Impactions occur at the tip of the shoulder blade. When you fall on your front, or on a corner of your body like the back of your shoulder, your body absorbs force against the bones. The arm is especially vulnerable because there are so many layers of soft tissue. When this happens, it causes bone to break below skin level resulting in swelling or bruising.
2. Rotator cuff tear
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help stabilize your shoulder. There are four main muscles that make up the rotator cuff:
If one of your muscles gets inflamed, it can weaken and tear. This is commonly known as a "rotator cuff tear." The tendon may rupture completely or just tear away from the bone. If a tendon becomes inflamed and painful, it is known as "tenosynovitis." The most common cause of rotator cuff injury is repetitive shoulder motion, such as pitching in baseball.
3. Biceps tendon injury
The biceps muscle helps to flex your elbow and also helps to rotate your arm. It is a thick cord of muscle on the front of your upper arm. The tendon itself is located at the back of your elbow. The biceps tendon may get injured when the humerus bone and other parts of your shoulder are damaged.
4. Labrum injury
The labrum is a soft tissue structure of the shoulder that helps hold the shoulder joint's ball in place. It consists of cartilage that grows around your shoulder socket. The labrum acts as a rim or cup and holds the ball in place while you move your arm. The labrum may tear either partially or completely. A partial tear may heal on its own, but a complete tear will require surgical intervention to repair it.
5. Traumatic arthritis
A clinical diagnosis occurs when there is swelling, pain, and stiffness in a joint caused by injury to the soft tissue ligaments around a joint. The arthritis is thought to be caused by inflammation in one of the ligaments, and is often accompanied by pain in other parts of the joint, such as your shoulder. The cause is frequently an injury to the shoulder. In a traumatic arthritis, damage to your bone causes swelling around the joint, which puts pressure on some tissues that make up the ligaments surrounding the joint. When this happens over time, some of these tissues can rupture. This can lead to more swelling as it moves into a different part of your body.
I fell and Hurt my Shoulder, What do I Do?
It can be confusing when an injury occurs and your arm is no longer working. You may not know where to begin in your recovery process. First, let's talk about what you are doing when you hurt your shoulder:
1. Relax Your Hand
If you hurt your shoulder, you may want to move your hand and arm around. Try to avoid doing this as much as possible. When you put pressure on a joint, it can put stress on the muscle and make it harder for it to heal. If you do need to get something out of a bag or pick something up, try not to use just your shoulder for support.
2. Ask for Medical Help
If you hurt your shoulder, you should consider contacting a doctor that specializes in shoulder injuries. At this point, he will put a pin in your arm to immobilize the joint. He can then treat any fractures or other injury that you may have. Furthermore, he will prescribe you a course of care targeted toward your particular needs.
3. Rest and Ice
Playing it safe is very important when it comes to your injured shoulder. You should consider getting plenty of rest. When you injure your shoulder, you may notice that it becomes stiff. This is because your muscles are tense and tight from the fall or injury. You can try to ease this by using cold packs on the injured area. Applying ice to the area can help to reduce swelling and help calm down the pain. When your body experiences an injury, it releases chemicals to begin the healing process. One of these chemicals is called histamine, which causes inflammation and swelling in the area where you were injured. Applying cold can reduce the amount of histamine in your body and reduce swelling and pain.
When you injure your shoulder, you cannot use your arm because the joint is immobile or frozen. Your arm may be in a sling or immobilized using pins. When you are immobile, your doctor can give you some general instructions for your recovery. It would be best if you changed positions periodically to help keep your joints and muscles flexible. This will minimize damage to the joint as well as help with recovery. If you are still able to move your arm, you should use it more and less often depending on how that feels.