Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Sprained Shoulder Overview

Another name for Sprained Shoulder is Shoulder Sprain.

What is a shoulder sprain?
A person with a shoulder sprain has stretched or torn a ligament in the shoulder. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that hold the bones together in a joint during movement. A force that bends or twists the shoulder beyond the normal range of motion causes a shoulder sprain. The most common cause of shoulder sprain is a sports injury. Shoulder sprains are the most common type of shoulder injury.

What are the symptoms of a shoulder sprain?
The most common symptom of a shoulder sprain is shoulder pain that worsens with movement of the shoulder. Additional symptoms of a shoulder sprain may include tenderness and swelling of the shoulder.

How does the doctor treat a shoulder sprain?
Initial treatment for a shoulder sprain may include rest, a sling, cold compresses, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for a severe shoulder sprain may include corticosteroid medication injections or surgery.

Continue to Sprained Shoulder Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sprained Shoulder References
  1. Altchek DW, Levinson M. Shoulder injury in the throwing athlete. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2000 Nov ;11(4):745-54. [11092016]
  2. Moynes DR. Prevention of injury to the shoulder through exercises and therapy. Clin Sports Med. 1983 Jul;2(2):413-22. [969764]
  3. Wollman S. Patient education series. Sprains and strains. Nursing. 2003 Sep;33(9):47. [14501515]
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