Calcification in the shoulder: symptoms and causes

Calcification in the shoulder is also known as shoulder calcific tendonitis. As the name suggests, attacks this large joint that regulates the movement of the upper limbtherefore its affectation involves a limitation of the opening angle of the arm.

There was a higher frequency of presentation among women over 40 and especially on the side that uses the most. That is, right-handed people suffer from it on the right side and left-handed people on the left shoulder. There are also bilateral clinical presentations, although they are less common.

Causes of calcification in the shoulder

Tips for sleeping with shoulder tendonitis

In this pathology the basis is the accumulation of calcium in one of the most important tendons of human anatomy: the rotator cuff tendon of the supraspinatus muscle. It is a soft tissue with essential functions for shoulder mobility.

Even the bag of the acromion may be calcified in disease. Bursae are sacs with joint fluid that allow lubrication between two bones. In this case, the affected person is the one below the acromial bone.

The reality is that, currently, the precise origin of the calcification in the shoulder is unclear. Once the mineral buildup is detected, it’s hard to tell why it started. Mostly there is confusion because it is diagnosed in people who don’t have it background clear trauma.

The presence of osteoarthritis or arthritis focused on other joints is not indicative or a risk factor. Likewise, hormonal changes are not directly related to the tendency to deposit calcium.

In this sense, for many specialists we are dealing with a typical disease of the shoulder, i.e. typical of this joint and no other. Different is the case with a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, which is more widespread and attacks the joint as part of the whole syndrome.

THE Scientific studies they are not decisive as regards the relationship with sport. While there are occasional records of people experiencing shoulder calcification from overuse, it’s not the rule. At the other extreme, it can’t even be attributed to a sedentary lifestyle.

Symptoms of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder

Woman with shoulder pain
The precise origin of the calcification in the shoulder is unclear.

Pain in shoulder calcification is the main sign. Its intensity depends on the evolutionary moment of the disorder, since at the beginning it is nothing more than a temporary discomfort while the calcium settles. In a second stage, the attack is acute and disabling.

This does not necessarily mean that the disease is getting worse in terms of the amount of mineral attached. On the contrary, on many occasions the increase in pain corresponds to the resorption of calcium that the body is working out.

Larger buildups are more annoying, although they may not hurt as much. The problem with bulky sizes is that they disturb nearby structures and stiffen fabrics. In stiffening, cells and fibers that are supposed to be more flexible are stiffened.then the joint becomes stiff.

This is the situation of adhesive capsulitis. It’s a complication of calcification in the shoulder which limits the arm’s reach and leads to a loss of strength, making it difficult to hold objects in the hand or raise the arm above the head to reach for something.

Very variable evolution time. Even with treatment established, each person responds differently and can spend months and years with the condition.

Diagnosis and treatment

Doctor examining a patient with shoulder calcification
Treatment for the patient with shoulder calcification may include anti-inflammatories and physical therapy.

After consulting for shoulder pain, the next logical step is to order an x-ray of the joint to evaluate it. In any case, this complementary method is usually not decisive. It serves to exclude other processes, but it is difficult for the accumulated calcium to express itself as such.

In this part of the diagnostic process, appeal is made to the ultrasound soft tissue and nuclear magnetic resonance. In these cases there are more chances of registering signs of degeneration of the affected tendons. One of the classic signs is the narrowing of the shoulder joint space, which denotes the greatest contact between bone tissues.

From the certification of calcifying tendonitis, the traumatologist will indicate an approach which, in principle, is usually conservative. This is based on the prescription of anti-inflammatories and the completion of physiotherapy sessions.

Within kinesiology, validated approaches are diverse. There are professionals who prefer to use manual maneuvers, while others prefer to do it shock waves or devices with temperature. In general, local cold is preferred.

The surgical approach is reserved for cases more resistant to conservative treatment. The most used technique is sting with a trocar which consists of inserting a special needle into the shoulder to absorb the calcification.

When should I consult?

If shoulder pain appears that intensifies with movement, it is a good time to consult. Especially if you add a limitation of the movement of the arm when trying to reach for objects or when lifting it above the head.

Although many of the cases resolve on their own over time, diagnosis must be achieved through complementary methods. A simple ultrasound may be sufficient to determine the presence of shoulder calcification and treat it accordingly.

The post Shoulder Calcification: Symptoms and Causes first appeared in research-school.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular