Whether you’re experiencing a constant dull ache or a sharp pain following an injury, shoulder pain can prevent you from going to work, exercising, or even lifting everyday objects in some cases. That’s why Alena Polesin, MD, and Philip Rubinfeld, MD, at New Jersey Pain Management in Morristown, Bridgewater, and Rockaway, New Jersey, are available to diagnose and treat shoulder pain that may be stopping you from living your life to the fullest. Call or book an appointment online today for more information.
The most flexible joint in your body, your shoulder is used for everything from throwing a pitch to carrying laundry. That’s why it’s so frustrating to experience shoulder pain; you use your shoulder for everything.
While there are endless reasons you may be experiencing shoulder pain, some of the most common culprits include:
Pain in the front of your shoulder can usually be attributed to bicep tendonitis, which develops as a gradual pain in your shoulder that radiates down your bicep muscle. If left untreated, your muscle could completely rip from the joint and cause a bicep rupture, which results in extreme swelling, worsening of pain, and bruising around the shoulder.
You have four rotator cuff muscles that can dramatically affect your ability to move properly if injured. There are three main types of rotator cuff problems to watch out for: tendonitis, bursitis, and rotator cuff tear. While tendonitis is described as an inflammation of your tendons, or shoulder muscles, bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac in your shoulder. If your tendons completely rip from the bone, you may have a rotator cuff tear.
Shoulder arthritis is less common than knee arthritis or hip arthritis, but if left untreated can lead to more serious should problems, such as AC separation — when the shoulder ligaments separate from the AC joint.
There are plenty of reasons you may be experiencing shoulder pain, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if your pain is leaving you unable to carry objects or move your arm properly.
If your pain gradually worsens, your doctor will examine your medical history and perform a physical examination. Should you require further testing, your doctor may order x-rays or an MRI to determine what’s causing your pain.
Some of the most common treatment options for shoulder pain include:
In addition to heat and ice application to reduce inflammation and ease pain, most doctors recommend rest and relaxation for treating shoulder pain. Over time, this should help you regain mobility in your shoulder.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain while you recover from your shoulder injury. Steroid injections are especially helpful in combination with physical therapy.
Physical therapy under a doctor’s supervision can help relieve shoulder pain and help you regain mobility of your shoulder after an injury.
If rest, steroid injections, and surgery fail to provide pain relief, shoulder surgery may be your only option for healing. This is a last resort, so doctors don’t recommend shoulder surgery lightly.
For more information about shoulder pain causes and treatments, call New Jersey Pain Management or book an appointment online today.