Can Shoulder Pain Flare Up Years After an Injury?

You’ve heard the common saying, “Oh, it’s just an old injury flare-up.” Usually, this expression is said when “random” pains are felt in the joints of the body, typically in the knees, hips or shoulders. Maybe this expression sounds familiar to you because you suffer from random flare-ups of pain and stiffness in your joints from an old injury. If this is you, you should know that there are some at-home treatments you can do to help reduce this chronic pain from occurring. 

At Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, we often work with people who have a joint or muscle injury. These injuries can develop from sports, work or any other cause. Typically, if we see a patient soon after an injury is sustained, we can work with that patient to fully heal the injured area of the body. Unfortunately, not all patients come to us immediately after an injury. Some patients wait until months or years later, when they can no longer stand the pain of an old injury. If this is where you are at in life, don’t worry; we can treat old injuries, too. 

What causes shoulder pain flare-ups after an old injury?

The shoulder is one of the most used joints in the body. Think about every time you move your arm in a day. Think about resting your hand on your computer mouse or holding your smartphone to read this article; this movement requires your shoulder joint. Sometimes, shoulder joint injuries are caused from continual use wearing down the cartilage in the joint, leaving nothing to protect the bones in the joint from rubbing against each other. 

Sometimes, shoulder injury is caused by sudden impact from a contact sport, such as football or basketball. It could also suffer from torn ligaments and rotator cuff damage due to extraneous use, which is commonly found in athletes who play baseball, softball and football. 

When these injuries are not treated properly, a few things can happen in the shoulder joint:

  • Inflammation (also known as arthritis) can build up around the joint
  • Excessive scar tissue can develop in the ligaments

When inflammation or scar tissue builds within a joint, such as the shoulder, it can cause stiffness and loss of mobility in that area. It can also press against a nearby nerve and cause pain, either shooting and sudden, or dull and chronic. This may be why your old shoulder injury is causing sudden flare-ups of pain and stiffness; it may be time to look at getting it treated correctly so you can improve your quality of life. 

Schedule an appointment for shoulder treatment

At Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, we offer many treatment options to help relieve your shoulder pain, regardless of how old your injury is. Contact us today to learn more about the treatments we offer or to schedule your initial consultation. 

Categories: shoulder pain


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