Professional Basketball player veteran presented to the office complaining of bilateral (medical lingo: both sides) shoulder pain, developing mostly after the last season. Pain and weakness is mostly when he lifts up shoulders sideways to pass the ball. His past medical history is positive for some degenerative joint disease of the knee that the patient received treatment at our center. He is otherwise healthy and takes Glucosamine and dietary supplements. As a player patient recalls falling several times on the shoulders. On exam patient has point tenderness on the inside front of the upper arm.
Discussion: There are several muscles and tendons involved in the multidimensional movements of shoulders. The supraspinatus muscle is one of the major muscles contributing to shoulder movements. This muscle is used to lift the arm up sideways and is also important in throwing sports and holds the arm in the shoulder when things such as a basketball is thrown. Over the tendon (medical lingo: attachment of muscle to the bone is called tendon) is a bursa (small sack of fluid used to help lubricate the moving tendon). This bursa (known as subacromion bursa) can become inflamed in the shoulder causing pain. A heavy fall onto the shoulder typically seen in professional players can result in injuring this bursa.