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Peter loved tennis, now, he “hangs the racket on a nail”.

Antonio worked for 30 years as a farmer, now, he must delegate many jobs.

James was a social health worker, now, he carries out small tasks.

Maria was a very active grandmother, now, she can’t play with her grandchildren anymore.

Rose liked sparkling water, now, she drinks from the tap.

Rossella was a cook, now, she buys fresh pasta at the supermarket.

For many people, these sentences may seem meaningless. One in four adults will probably have a similar story to tell. In fact, painful shoulder syndrome affects 10 to 26% of the adult population. The shoulder plays a fundamental part in our daily lives as it allows the upper limb and the hand to move in space quickly and freely.


Why does the shoulder hurt?

In the past all the painful shoulder symptoms were incorporated in a single diagnosis and in a generic and non-specific manner it was called periarthritis. Currently, medicine is much more precise in determining the cause of this condition; the most frequent are identified as:

  • Acromial conflict syndrome;
  • Rupture of the rotator cuff tendon;
  • Scapulohumeral Osteoarthritis

The terminology is difficult, but we can talk about it in a simple and thorough way during the visit.


How much does it hurt?

The most important symptom is certainly the pain associated with a lack of strength in the arm and hand. Pain is an unpleasant sensory experience and is subjective. It varies from person to person. In most cases, however, the pain is chronic and can last for months, radiate from the base of the neck to the elbow, accentuate during the common daily activities that involve the arm: simple operations such as dressing, combing, washing can become very difficult for people suffering from painful shoulder syndrome.

 Pain can also occur at rest and at night, hindering adequate sleep.

 Pain, if not adequately controlled, can have a negative impact on a person’s life, jeopardizing interpersonal relationships.


What to do in case of shoulder pain?

Home remedies and the improper use of drugs with pain-relieving / anti-inflammatory action should be avoided. The family doctor should prescribe diagnostic and instrumental examinations such as an X-ray and an MRI of the shoulder and after an objective examination, refer the patient to an orthopedic doctor specializing on shoulder treatment.


What will the ortopedist do with the shoulder? The conservative treatment

The orthopedist will recommend the most appropriate treatment based on the extent of the problem. In general, the first approach is conservative: it consists of taking anti-inflammatories and / or joint infiltrations of cortisone or hyaluronic acid, associated with a physiotherapy rehabilitation process to fully recover shoulder mobility and reduce pain. When conservative treatment fails, the patient must be elevated to surgical treatment.


Is the surgery very invasive? 

Currently the most effective and modern surgical treatment is that in arthroscopy, an operation with reduced invasiveness that makes use of the use of a camera. The duration is variable from 60 to 90 minutes.



Dott. Sabri Dlimi, ortopedist doctor