Shoulder Pain: What Causes It and How to Find Relief

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Discomfort in the shoulder comes in many forms and can be the result of a sudden sports injury or accumulated pain over time. The good news is that there are many treatment options available to help get you back to feeling your best.

What are some common causes of shoulder pain? 

There are many possible causes of shoulder pain including dislocation, labral tears, soft tissue inflammation, tendon tears, arthritis and fractures (broken bones). These problems can develop slowly over time or suddenly with an injury.

Some patients with shoulder pain  experience pain in the neck that radiates down the arm and mimics pain coming from the shoulder.

How do you know if you tore your rotator cuff?

Common symptoms of rotator cuff tears include pain at night, pain or weakness with shoulder motion or with lifting and the inability to raise the arm overhead. 

How can shoulder pain be treated?

Shoulder pain without an injury can be treated with over-the-counter medications, ice and avoidance of painful activities. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about which over-the-counter medications are safe for you to take.

If you have an injury with severe pain or an inability to move your arm, you should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible to rule out a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder. If your pain does not improve with the above treatments, the next step is a visit with an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder pain and injuries.

Diagnosis may require imaging such as X-rays, CT or MRI.

Many patients with chronic shoulder pain improve with non-operative treatments such as prescription medications, injections and physical therapy. If these treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary to relieve pain and improve function.

Are you suffering from shoulder pain? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lindsey Liuzza in Gretna to learn about your treatment options.

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