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Shoulder Pain and Shoulder Problems

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Shoulder Pain and Shoulder Problems

We see a lot of patients in our office that complain of shoulder pain. We explain to our patients that what they think is just one thing — the should— is actually several joints that combine with tendons and muscles.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

We can usually categorize shoulder problems into one of the following four categories:

  1. Fracture – fractures are broken bones and usually involve the collarbone, upper arm bone or shoulder blade. We normally see this in older patients due to falls or in younger patients due to high impact injury like a car accident.
  2. Arthritis – the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is commonly referred to as “wear and tear”
  3. Instability – When a sudden injury occurs or there is an overuse of the shoulder, patients can experience instability. This means that the bone is forced out of the shoulder socket.
  4. Tendon Inflammation/Tendon Tear – Some patients experience tendon tear when they age or there has been long-term overuse. Rotator cuff and biceps tendon injuries are among the most common of these injuries.

Common Treatments of Shoulder Pain

Treatment generally involves rest, altering your activities, and physical therapy to help you improve strength and flexibility. We may prescribe medication to reduce inflammation and pain or depending on what we see we may recommend injections of numbing medicines or steroids to relieve pain.

Surgery is not usually the first treatment option for shoulder pain and many of our patients respond well to rest, medication, or physical therapy. Others with more severe or reoccurring injuries may seek surgery as an alternative treatment. Make an appointment to see one of our orthopedic surgeons to understand your options.

In the case of an acute injury causing intense pain, seek medical care as soon as possible. You can reach our office at 972-727-9995 to schedule an appointment.