Your shoulder is a joint that is able to move within a large range, offering you flexibility. There are many moving parts and overlying bones.
Parts of the Shoulder:
To understand the complexity of the shoulder, you should first understand what the shoulder is made up of:
- Ball and socket joint
Injury to any of these structures may cause shoulder pain.
Possible Injuries and What They Mean:
You may strain your muscles when you overexert them and you can also cause inflammation of the tendons, resulting in pain from tendonitis.
Your shoulder, meanwhile, can be dislocated or pulled by sudden movement out of the socket. Furthermore, some people have very lax joints and they are more apt to dislocate easily.
If you fracture your humerus or your clavicle, you will have problems with your shoulder.
If you have nerves in your cervical spine that are pinched, then you may have nerve pain that extends over the shoulder region and even down your arm. Severe impingement or nerve root damage may result in weakness.
A frequently seen injury is to the muscle group known as the rotator cuff. Lifting something heavy, sudden movement, falling, or any number of mechanisms can injure this group of muscles. This results in shoulder pain and inability to extend your arm fully.
When to See a Doctor:
Shoulder pain should be examined by a specialist to determine the cause. Imaging studies are used to diagnose any bone problems and MRI can be used to examine the cervical spine and nerve roots if your doctor feels your pain is neuropathic, also known as a radiculopathy.
Of course, any fracture should be seen immediately.
Treatment of shoulder pain varies widely according to the cause. Anti-inflammatory medications or injections into the joint are sometimes helpful.
Physical therapy is often necessary to regain strength and mobility.
Surgery is sometimes required in the case of cervical instability or disc herniation, although disc herniation may resolve with conservative treatment.
Regenerative medicine, such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) therapy may also help. Successful use of regenerative medicine for rotator cuff injuries continues to improve the lives of many.
If you are suffering from shoulder pain, your ability to perform many daily tasks is probably limited. You should consult a physician for assessment, diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment before you potentially compound the damage.
Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you. You can contact us at (201) 729-0001. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Our conveniently located clinics can be found in West Orange, Aberdeen, Clifton, and Lyndhurst.