Burning Pain in the Shoulder

Burning Pain in the Shoulder

Burning pain in the shoulder is a very commonly observed problem. Numerous people experience this condition, due to the fact that we utilize our shoulders and arms in carrying out a diverse range of activities on a daily basis.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
The shoulder joints in our body are used all the time for different activities, and as a result, they are more prone to suffer injuries and to experience pain or discomfort. Being the most complex and important joints, they endure a lot of ill-treatment before they actually begin to malfunction, due to stress and excessive pain. Pain in the shoulder blade hampers our routine activities, and makes us incapable of performing simple tasks like extending the arm to reach something, lifting anything from the ground, etc. Pain in the shoulder muscles can sometimes be high enough to cause sleepless nights, and quite often, even the pain relievers are not very effective, as they only ease the pain for a short duration of time. However, there are many ways to relieve pain in the shoulder and neck, but before knowing them, let's have a look at some of the main causes.

Causes
  • Tendinitis: One of the most common cause for burning pain in the shoulder and arm is the inflammation of the tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. It is mainly caused by stress/overuse of the shoulder muscles, due to which the tendons in the shoulder rub against each other, get inflamed, and wear out, causing intense shoulder pain and irritation.
  • Bursitis: Just like tendinitis, bursitis is another shoulder ailment caused due to the overuse of the shoulder muscles. It involves the inflammation or swelling of one or more bursae (small sacs) of synovial fluid in the body that act as cushions between the joints. This gives rise to burning sensation and pain, due to repetitive movement and excessive pressure on the shoulder joint.
  • Rotator Cuff Injury: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that controls and stabilizes the movement of the shoulders. An injury to the rotator cuff can lead to strained joints and ligament tears, that may result in shoulder dislocation or fracture, causing sharp pain in the shoulder and back.
  • Osteoporosis: It is a common disorder that occurs due to loss of bone tissue, due to reduced calcium and phosphorous deposition in the bones. The bones become porous and fragile, and extremely vulnerable to fractures and injuries.
  • Other Causes: Gallbladder disease that causes burning pain in the right shoulder; fibromyalgia, a soft tissue form of rheumatism (painful disorder of muscles); shingles, a viral infection causing burning of the skin over the shoulder; heart attack, arthritis, wrong sleeping postures, etc., are some other causes for burning pain in the shoulder.
Treatment

Massage therapy is considered to be the best treatment for shoulder pain, as it improves the flow of the blood, provides relaxation to the muscles, and gives a natural sense of well-being. A soothing massage each hour in the problem area by rubbing the shoulder with the opposite hand, will help relieve the burning shoulder pain. Pressing the trapezius muscle for 15 - 30 seconds, will also help relieve pain in the shoulder and back, as the pressing will slow down the blood supply, and releasing it will flood the area with blood and oxygen. Applying an ice pack or heat pad over the affected area for 15 - 20 minutes several times a day will reduce the swelling and inflammation. One can also opt for some over-the-counter pain relieving medications to treat the pain, or undergo a few sessions of supervised physiotherapy.

Along with the aforementioned remedies, performing some simple muscle stretching and strengthening exercises on a regular basis will help in reducing the burning pain in shoulder, and will also greatly reduce the risks of developing it again. However, if these treatments bring no benefit or relief, it is recommended to consult an orthopedist for the necessary treatment.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.