Your shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body, and therefore one of the most important parts, as well. Because your shoulder allows you to move your arm above, behind and to the left and right of your body, it is very susceptible to injury. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need surgery. Surgery is absolutely necessary in a lot of cases, as your arms get more use every day than you probably even think about.

You may not even need surgery!

Your injury may not even be that bad to begin with, and you may just need physical therapy or some rest. Whatever the case, a trip to your doctor at the onset of any severe pain is recommended. Your doctor will be able to examine your shoulder, and may need to do some X-rays. If this is the case, don’t be alarmed. There may not even be anything seriously wrong (plus, chances are if it’s not bad enough that you felt you needed an immediate trip to the emergency room, you’re probably fine).

Common shoulder problems that don’t need surgery…

Bursitis or Tendonitis is common after overdoing one particular activity. It could be anything from weightlifting to swimming, and treatment is as simple as cutting back on the activity until you feel better, and possibly some mild physical therapy.

Partial or full rotators cuff tears are associated with chronic inflammation and can be gotten from falling or heavy lifting. Treatments include modified activity, light exercise or possibly an injection of cortisone. Surgery is used to repair the tear, but this is rarely the case as it is almost always fixed by non-surgical methods.

Fractured collarbones are also common shoulder injuries that can be received by simply falling the wrong way on your shoulder. This injury is usually more common in children, and using a simple sling can have the bone healed up in no time.

Shoulder problems that do require surgery…

You may find yourself needing surgery if you have any of these other problems. Instability could either be caused by falling, twisting your arm wrong, or over straining your shoulder. Basically instability is when you have repeat dislocations, and is usually rectified by surgery. These surgeries are incredibly minor and most are outpatient. After surgery, extensive physical therapy is usually needed.

A fractured humorous is a little more serious. This injury is generally more common in older folks with calcium deficiencies, but can still occur if you fall on your arm the wrong way. Open surgery is usually required for this injury, and in some cases the use of prosthetics may be required.

Bad arthritis may also warrant a trip to the operating table. If you’re experiencing chronic pain in your shoulder, you may require open surgery that will replace either the head of your bone or the socket with a prosthetic. This surgery is necessary to remove the pain and give you full range of mobility.

Sharon Freeman is a freelancer who loves writing about health and welling from Shoulder Reconstruction Surgery to sporting injuries.