The act of putting on and taking off a shirt requires movement of the entire shoulder joint and your arm. With the shoulder joint’s range of motion, this should be easy. However, injuries to the joint or the soft tissues surrounding it can make this simple task challenging. If suddenly you are struggling to put on and take off your shirt, it could be due to any of the problems below.
The largest bursa — which is a fluid-filled sac — is located just outside the shoulder joint. An inflamed bursa, called bursitis, can cause pain in the shoulder due to the friction between the shoulder blade and the rotator cuff muscles and other soft tissues. Lifting your arm above your head can be very painful.
Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, which can become irritated or inflamed due to repetitive movements or an injury. The rotator cuff muscles perform a very important function and provide stability to the shoulder and shoulder blade, allowing the arm to raise and rotate. Your rotator cuff muscles are working when you reach for something, turn a doorknob, type on your computer, use your phone, and drive. You are also using them when getting dressed or taking your shirt off. Rotator cuff problems can cause instability and should be evaluated and treated by an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible.
Shoulder impingement, also called subacromial impingement is a type of overuse injury that is common in people with occupations that require frequent and heavy overhead lifting and those with an active lifestyle. Such things put pressure on the rotator cuff due to the rubbing of tendons against nearby tissue and bone. Shoulder impingement causes shoulder pain and can make lifting or extending the arms above the head and reaching behind the back — which you have to do when you take off your shirt — difficult.
One of the symptoms of shoulder arthritis is a loss of range of motion, making it difficult to perform the most basic self-care tasks, such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and getting dressed. Raising your arms above your head becomes challenging for someone with shoulder arthritis due to the degeneration of the protective cartilage over the shoulder joint that makes smooth movement possible. Shoulder arthritis also presents other symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint area.
Orthopedic Surgeons in North Dakota
If you are experiencing shoulder pain or loss of function, have the orthopedic surgeons at The Bone & Joint Center examine your shoulder, evaluate your condition, and recommend proper treatment, so normal function can be restored.
We have four fellowship-trained surgeons specializing in shoulder surgery: Dr. Brock A. Norrie, Dr. Troy D. Pierce, Dr. Chad B. Carlson, and Dr. Duncan B. Ackerman. If you have questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call (701) 946-7400 or (866) 900-8650, or use our convenient online request form.