You might not realize that you can develop some forms of peripheral neuropathy even if you’re perfectly healthy…
Diabetes, Lupus, Cancer and chemotherapy, Any of these conditions can lead to peripheral neuropathy…But what you might not realize is that you can develop some forms of peripheral neuropathy such as suprascapular neuropathy even if you’re perfectly healthy.
Athletes who take part in sports that require consistent overhead movement of the arms (like tennis, baseball, kayaking, volleyball) place a lot of strain on their shoulders. That places them at a much higher risk of overuse injuries.
And that can lead to a very specific type of neuropathy – suprascapular neuropathy.
What is Suprascapular Neuropathy?
Suprascapular neuropathy- that’s a real mouthful isn’t it? It may sound complicated but it really isn’t.
Suprascalupar neuropathy is nerve damage to the suprascapular nerve – the nerve that runs from the brachial plexus (a group of nerves in the neck and shoulders) to nerves that help the body fully rotate the arms. Suprascapular neuropathy causes shoulder pain and weakness and can lead to career ending pain for professional athletes or stop weekend warriors from doing what they love.
The most common symptoms of suprascapular neuropathy are:
– Deep, dull aching pain in the shoulder
– Weakness or muscle pain
– Frozen shoulder (inability to move the shoulder)
– Numbness and tingling
If any of these symptoms are keeping you sidelined, talk to your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today.
Exactly What Causes Suprascapular Neuropathy?
As the suprascapular nerve passes over the shoulder blade, it can be compressed and stretched. When that happens repeatedly over a period of time, the nerve can become damaged and neuropathy develops. The first symptoms are usually pain and weakness when you try to rotate the shoulder. More than just being uncomfortable, the pain can disrupt your life on a daily basis.
Imagine trying to put on a t-shirt or reach for a can on the top shelf of your pantry with a frozen or extremely painful shoulder…
If your experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician immediately to determine if you have nerve damage. You’ll need to start treatment immediately to prevent permanent damage.
What You Can Expect From Treatment
Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will start with nerve conduction studies to find out exactly where the nerves are damaged. Electromyography will show exactly how severe the damage is.
Once you know for sure you have suprascapular neuropathy, the first step will be stop participating in the sport that caused the injury (until the damage is repaired).
Next, you’ll start a course of physical therapy and prescribed exercise. Therapy will concentrate on maintaining your full range of motion and strengthening your shoulder muscles.
Your NeuropathyDR® clinician will employ a very specific treatment protocol depending on
– The location of your injury and how severe it is
– Your age, general health and typical activities
– How long you’ve had your symptoms and whether or not they was caused by overuse or a specific injury
If your shoulder pain is keeping you on the bench and stopping you from participating in the sports you love or even from living a normal life, call your doctor or your local NeuropathyDR® clinician today. Early intervention is one of the best ways to minimize the damage caused by suprascapular neuropathy and repair any nerve damage you may have suffered.
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