Shoulder Pain: Causes and Treatment

Since your shoulder is the most flexible part of your body, it is easy to understand why shoulder pain complaints are received throughout the day at medical centers. Commonly, shoulder pain could be caused by osteoarthritis, muscle tears, tendonitis or other less serious causes too. The wide range of possible causes is due to the anatomy involved in the flexible movement of your shoulder.

Causes and Location of Pain

Since shoulder pain is becoming extremely common, there can be a wide range of different pains being experienced as well as a wide range of causes. If your pain exists outside of the shoulder, it is possible that you are suffering from a rotator cuff problem or perhaps a frozen shoulder. If the pain is directed towards the front of your shoulder, it may be due to biceps tendonitis, SLAP tears and bicep tears.

The cause of pain at the top of your shoulder are in the acromioclavicular (AC) joint and can include AC arthritis, AC separation or distal clavicle osteolysis. If your pain is spread all over the shoulder, then it may be caused due to loosened or torn tissues, shoulder instability or even dislocation.

Consulting a Specialist

If your shoulder pain worsens or is persistent, you should seek medical attention immediately. Serious symptoms of shoulder pain that must be reported to doctors include inability to use your arm, a severe injury at the point of pain, shoulder pain occurring at night, restricted movement of arm, swelling or bruising around the joint or signs of an infection such as fever or redness of skin.

Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain

While there are many different causes of shoulder pain, a doctor will always carefully review all your symptoms, conduct a physical examination and may even order imaging tests before declaring a final diagnosis.

The physical exam of your shoulder will include the doctor pressing on different parts of the shoulder to check for tenderness or deformity, testing arm strength and making comparisons, and evaluate the range of movement of your shoulder. Many doctors also prefer examining the neck and abdomen to ensure that the pain is originated in the shoulder and not elsewhere in your body.

Imaging tests such as an x-ray or MRI will help the doctor confirm his diagnosis with physical proof. The images from an x-ray will be able to detect any bone injuries, damaged joints and bone spurs. Additionally, the MRI will be able to report on the health of tendons, ligaments and muscles around the shoulder.

Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Similar to any other physical discomfort, shoulder pain treatment Modbury will be determined by the root cause of the pain itself. However, there is a set of typical treatments recommended by doctors which include:

1. Rest: Shoulder pain is supposed to get better over the course of a few days as the acute inflammation will have time to subside itself. In this case, rest refers to normal levels of resting and not continuous bed-rest as that may further worsen the symptoms. Light activity is recommended.

2. Ice and Heat Treatment: The use of ice packs can reduce swelling and pain from shoulder injuries. Ice should be applied immediately in order to diminish any inflammation present in the shoulder muscle or joint. Heat pads can also be alternatively used to treat chronic shoulder pain Findon as it can relax the muscles, ease stiffness and lessen the sensation of pain.

3. Medication: Shoulder pain or swelling can easily be treated with the use of common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen. In more serious cases, steroid injections may also be advised by the doctor.