SHOULDER PAIN 

What is the most common cause of adult shoulder pain involving the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons deep within the shoulder and are responsible for stabilizing the arm bone (humerus) against the socket (glenoid) while the large outer muscle (deltoid) raises the arm.  Through overuse (throwing, lifting, overhead work) or a specific injury (a fall onto the out-stretched hand or shoulder) these tendons may become inflamed (bursitis or tendinitis) or torn.

You may have heard the term "impingement".  This refers to pressure on the inflamed rotator cuff tendons against the overhanging edge of the shoulder blade.  This is the outermost edge of the scapula beyond your collarbone.

What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include pain with use, night pain, a popping or grinding sensation in the shoulder. 
What can I do to treat this conservatively?
Rest, anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. Advil, Aleve), ice and rehabilitative exercises are the mainstays of conservative care.  Failure to respond may indicate need for other measures such as physical therapy, cortisone injections or arthroscopic surgery.


KNEE PAIN

What are the most common causes of knee pain, not associated with a severe injury?

It usually involves torn cartilage (meniscus - the shock absorber between the joint surfaces) or damage to the articular cartilage (the smooth gliding surface that covers the ends of the bone).
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms from meniscal tears include pain with twisting and squatting with or without swelling.  Locking, catching and giving-way are less common. Articular cartilage damage, especially under the kneecap (patella) may be secondary to arthritis or wear from excessive pressure, overuse or malalignment of the patella (kneecap).  Symptoms include grating, popping, swelling, difficulty squatting, going up and down stairs or hills and pain after prolonged sitting with the knee bent (such as sitting in a car for a prolonged period of time).
What can I do to treat this conservatively?
Rest, anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. Advil, Aleve), ice and rehabilitative exercises are the mainstays of conservative care.  Failure to respond may indicate need for other measures such as physical therapy, cortisone injections or arthroscopic surgery.

 
 
 
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