How can I tell if my shoulder pain is serious?
Shoulder pain that is accompanied by symptoms of a heart attack such as difficulty breathing or a tight feeling in the chest could potentially be a symptom of a heart attack and immediate medical attention is required. Call 911 to get an ambulance sent to you, or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room. Other cases of should pain that require immediate medical care through an urgent care or an emergency room is shoulder pain as the result of an injury that has additional symptoms such as the joint appearing deformed, being unable to use the joint or move the arm out from the body, intense pain and sudden swelling. If you have minor shoulder pain with symptoms such as redness, swelling or warmth and tenderness when you touch the joint or surrounding area, you should make an appointment with your family doctor. In most cases, shoulder pain can be treated at home, but if the pain isn’t fading or is getting worse, you will need to get it checked out by a doctor as well.
When should I see a shoulder specialist?
Your family doctor or primary care specialist should be your first point of contact for any illness or injury, unless it is an emergency or urgent care situation that needs to be handled immediately. Through any of these channels of medical care for the initial diagnosis and treatment, the doctor who is treating you can advise you on if you need to see a shoulder specialist for further diagnostic testing and treatment. Some typical instances of shoulder pain that will require the treatment of an orthopedic doctor include pain that doesn’t go away on its own after several days, or if the pain has increased, or if the shoulder has been dislocated as it should get put back in by an orthopedic doctor. Other instances when shoulder pain will require specialized treatment is when the pain in your shoulder limits your ability to participate in daily activities or engage in sports or when the pain in the shoulder is caused by an internal or external rotation movement.
What usually causes shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by any number of factors, depending where in the shoulder the pain is radiating from. Shoulder pain can come from within the shoulder joint itself or it can originate from the large number of muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround the joint. When the pain originates inside of the shoulder joint, it typically worsens with use whether through activities or just moving the arm or shoulder. There are also a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause should pain, although they affect different parts of the body, as is the case for heart disease and gallbladder disease. There is a long list of other conditions that can cause pain in the shoulder. These include: broken arm, dislocated or frozen shoulder, heart attack, avascular necrosis, bursitis, broken collarbone, rotator cuff injury, rheumatoid and septic arthritis, sprains, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and many other injuries or diseases.
What are the treatments for shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain can be relieved at home when it is mild to moderate using simple techniques. Resting your shoulder is the most important self-care treatment, by avoiding using the shoulder as much as possible in a way that will cause you pain or make your existing pain worse. Applying ice packs to the shoulder at regular intervals throughout the day, for 15 to 20 minutes at a time can also help relieve pain as well as reduce any swelling in the area. For pain management, you can try over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (most common brand is Tylenol), ibuprofen (common brands are Advil or Motrin) or naproxen sodium (common brand is Aleve) as directed by the instructions on the label to provide additional relief. If none of these methods are helping, your doctor can determine if there is a more significant issue at play that requires more elaborate treatment. You should also consult with our team of professionals at Renew Health today about the treatments we offer for shoulder pain. We are home to a leading multidisciplinary medical team, and we care about your health and well being. We serve patients from Katy TX, Brookshire TX, Houston TX, Richmond TX, Fulshear TX, Sealy TX, Pattison TX, and Cypress TX. Looking forward to serve you!