Although some types of shoulder injuries and disorders may only require a period of rest or activity restriction, others may require specialist treatment. If you are experiencing ongoing shoulder pain that is preventing you from carrying out day-to-day activities, visit a shoulder doctor to get the expert care you need.
The shoulder joint is a complex joint and one of the largest in the body. The upper arm bone (humerus) is held securely in place in the shallow socket of the shoulder by the rotator cuff, which is made up of a number of muscles and tendons. The rotator cuff provides stability for the shoulder and allows for a wide range of motion.
The shoulder can be vulnerable to a number of different conditions and injuries, which can lead to pain, weakness, instability, and reduced function in the shoulder and arm. Shoulder pain that results from a joint problem often becomes worse with movement of the arm and shoulder, such as during sports, like tennis and baseball, or in occupations that involve heavy use of the arm and shoulder, like construction.
When to See A Doctor
Visit your doctor to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment if:
- You have persistent shoulder pain
- Self-care treatments such as rest and ice do not relieve your pain
- You have been formally diagnosed with a condition such as a rotator cuff tear
- You have previously dislocated your shoulder (making the shoulder unstable and more susceptible to injury)
- You have difficulty sleeping, predominantly on the affected shoulder
- You experience difficulty or pain when moving your arm or shoulder (such as reaching backwards, raising your arm over your head, or reaching across your body)
- Your shoulder catches or makes a snapping or popping sound when lifting or moving your arm
If you experience severe pain or weakness in your shoulder or upper arm, or your pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate urgent medical care:
- A deformity
- Intense pain
- Sudden swelling
- Inability to move your arm or shoulder
- Tingling or a pins-and-needles sensation that won’t go away
- Loss of feeling in your arm or shoulder
- Signs of infection (fever, redness visible or heat felt on the shoulder area)
Causes of Shoulder Pain
Rotator Cuff Injuries
A rotator cuff injury is a common source of shoulder pain and weakness. This type of injury can result from overuse or sudden shoulder movements, such as during sports like baseball or tennis, in occupations such as carpentry, or from a fall. The risk of rotator cuff injuries increases with age, because the tendons and muscles that make up the rotator cuff can degenerate and weaken over time.
Shoulder impingement is a painful disorder that occurs when the tendons in the shoulder are inflamed, irritated, or degenerated. It causes the tendons to catch or rub on nearby tissue and bone. The condition usually develops from overuse, such as repetitive overhead motions, or structural abnormalities in the shoulder.
Shoulder pain can be caused by arthritis, which causes stiffness, immobility, and swelling in joints. Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis in the shoulder, which causes the protective cartilage in the joint to wear away. Aging, general wear, and tear, or a shoulder injury can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Diagnosing Shoulder Pain
In order to diagnose the cause of shoulder pain, your doctor will carry out a physical examination, assess your symptoms, and review your medical history. Diagnostic imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, are also typically required in order to accurately diagnose your condition.
Shoulder Pain Treatment
Treatment can vary depending on the condition and the severity of symptoms. Your shoulder doctor will discuss your treatment options with you and help you select the option to achieve the best possible outcome. Some types of injuries and disorders may respond to rest and activity restriction and only require nonsurgical treatments, such as:
- Ice therapy
- Joint injections
- Physical therapy
- Sports medicine
- PRP therapy
Surgery may be recommended for a condition or injury, such as a rotator cuff tear, that causes significant pain and weakness, or if non-surgical treatments have not provided relief. The main goal of surgery is to relieve pain, help improve mobility and function, and allow you to return to your normal lifestyle. Some shoulder surgeries can be carried out using minimally invasive methods, such as arthroscopy, which requires much smaller incisions than traditional surgery, has a decreased risk of infection, and a shorter recovery period.
Experienced Shoulder Doctor in Plantation, Florida
If you are looking for effective shoulder pain treatment in Plantation, FL, speak to the expert doctors at Baylis and Brown Orthopedics. We specialize in the diagnosis of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions and offer a variety of effective nonsurgical and surgical treatments to successfully treat a variety of orthopedic conditions.