Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Any pain that emerges in or around your shoulder is considered shoulder pain. It may diverge from the joint or from a surrounding ligament, tendon, or muscle. Typically, shoulder pain gets worse when you move your arm or shoulder or perform certain activities.

Specific conditions and diseases that affect the structures in your abdomen or chest may also trigger shoulder pain. Referred pain is shoulder pain that comes about from another structure and does not usually worsen when your shoulder is moved. If you’d like more information on the causes and treatment options of shoulder pain, read on.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

There are many causes of shoulder pain. At EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region, some of the most common causes that we see in our patients with shoulder pain include the following:

  • Rotator Cuff Injury. The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons and muscles that aid movement and help you stabilize your shoulder. Tendinitis is an injury that is common in tennis players and caused by the overuse of the rotator cuff. Another common rotator cuff injury is bursitis. Bursitis is caused by inflammation of fluid filled sacs in the rotator cuff known as the bursa.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage that provides cushion for the bones wears away.
  • Avascular necrosis. The death of bone tissue because of a lack of blood supply is called avascular necrosis. It can cause tiny breaks in the bone and force the bone to eventually collapse.

How Can I Relieve My Shoulder Pain?

If you’ve tried to relieve your shoulder pain through over-the-counter pain relievers, rest, and ice and are still experiencing redness, swelling, and warmth and tenderness around the joint, you should contact a physician.

When you visit your physician, he or she will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of your shoulder pain and provide you with viable options for treatment. Your doctor will search for swelling, muscle weakness or deformity, and physical defects.

He or she will also investigate your shoulder strength and range of motion. In addition, some tests may be performed in order to identify the cause of your shoulder pain. These tests can be an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, an arthrogram, EMG, or an arthroscopy.

The most common treatment option for shoulder pain consists of physical therapy and changing your activities to help improve your shoulder flexibility and strength. Your doctor will encourage you to avoid overexertion and overdoing activities to help you prevent and relieve shoulder pain. Some medications that reduce pain and inflammation may be prescribed as well. Since 90 percent of patients with shoulder pain relieve the symptom with simple treatments, few may require surgery.

The board-certified surgeons at EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region in the Unifour area are committed to assisting you in getting your shoulders back to its normal condition. We also do not require our patients to have an MRI prior to meeting with one of our doctors and perform all surgeries on-site.