A new study led by researchers from the University of Utah in the US found that individuals with symptoms that put them at increased risk for heart disease could be more likely to have shoulder problems, including joint pain and rotator cuff injury.
“If someone has rotator cuff problems, it could be a sign that there is something else going on. They may need to manage risk factors for heart disease,” said study lead author Kurt Hegmann, Professor at University of Utah School of Medicine in the US.
The researchers examined data from 1,226 skilled labourers. “What we think we are seeing is that high force can accelerate rotator cuff issues but is not the primary driver. Cardiovascular disease risk factors could be more important than job factors for incurring these types of problems,” he added.
Previous research found that people who had an increased risk for heart disease also had a tendency towards carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinitis and tennis elbow, all musculoskeletal disorders.
The current study adds shoulder problems to the list and takes the connection one step further. The more heart disease risk factors that each of the study participants had racked up including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, the more likely they were to have had shoulder trouble.
The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.