Thursday, August 11, 2022

When To See A Doctor About Shoulder Pain

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Neck And Shoulder Pain Medications

When to See a Doctor About Chronic Shoulder Pain

There are also medication options for treating neck and shoulder pain based on the cause of your pain. While some medications can be helpful for acute and mild cases of pain, others may help with moderate to severe pain after trying less invasive treatments and seeing no benefits.

A common first treatment is non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen . You can purchase this over the counter and use it for short-term relief.

Antidepressants, such as serotonin-and-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors , can also help with neck pain.

Your doctor might also prescribe muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants for temporary relief while you recover or skin patches containing capsaicin.

When Should I Seek Care For Shoulder Pain

Sudden, severe shoulder injury would cause you to seek medical care immediately, say if you dislocated your shoulder or even had a heart attack, which is often accompanied by shoulder pain. Its harder to determine when to call the doctor if you have a garden variety shoulder injury.

Below are indicators that you should should get professional help with shoulder pain:

  • If shoulder discomfort becomes chronic, meaning lasting six months or longer
  • When at-home treatments havent worked, such as rest, icing your shoulder, or taking over-the-counter pain medication
  • When shoulder pain disrupts sleep
  • If mobility limitations prevent you from performing ordinary tasks
  • When you can no longer participate in activities you really enjoy

Theres a point at which many realize theyre far too limited because of their shoulder pain, and thats when its time to call us.

What To Do If Your Shoulder Hurts

If you do experience shoulder pain, it’s not always possible to figure out the cause. Sometimes problems in other parts of the body are actually the source of the pain, which then radiates to your shoulder. This can happen with certain neck problems, including arthritis and disc herniations, says Dr. Arun Ramappa, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School.

In general, if you are experiencing a lot of pain or know you injured yourself, it’s best to see a doctor right away to have your shoulder condition diagnosed.

But if you have general, mild shoulder pain, try adjusting your activities, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and performing mild stretches to see if the pain improves on its own. However, if the pain doesn’t go away after a few weeks, you should consult your doctor.

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When Should You See A Doctor For Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder pain can disturb sleep patterns and limit your ability to exercise or function at work. If your shoulder pain begins to disrupt your regular activities, you may want to consult a doctor.

Impingement syndrome pain often comes on gradually and develops at the front and along the side of the shoulder joint. In some cases, the pain is noticeable only during movements such as throwing a ball, swimming, reaching up or playing tennis.

See your doctor if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain that spreads to the arm
  • Difficulty reaching behind your back
  • Pain when raising your arm
  • Swelling in the shoulder area
  • Noticeable pain at night

Pain That Wont Go Away

When to See a Doctor for Your Shoulder Injury

Does it seem like youve been dealing with pain for ages? Youve rested your shoulder, applied ice, and tried over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.

No matter what you do, the pain is still there. This is yet another sign that you need to visit an orthopedic specialist.

Pain is the bodys way of telling you that something is wrong. After you receive a diagnosis, you can begin treatment.

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Why Should Individuals With A Shoulder Injury See An Orthopaedic Surgeon

Only a physician can diagnose an injury to the rotator cuff. Orthopaedic surgeons specialize in pain, diseases, and injuries related to the musculoskeletal system, which is why they play a significant role in diagnosing, treating, preventing and rehabilitating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, including the shoulder.

If you have had a fall or other injury resulting in shoulder pain, schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic surgeon. An Orthopaedic surgeon can diagnose most problems with x-rays and a good physical exam. They may also confirm the suspected diagnosis with a diagnostic study, such as an MRI . The earlier a proper diagnosis is attained, the quicker treatment, pain relief, and recovery can begin.

Rotator cuff disease can occur due to a substantial shoulder injury, progressive degeneration and/or wear, and tear of the tendon.

Occupational and sports-related risk factors associated with damage to the rotator cuff include:

  • Regularly lifting heavy objects
  • Repeatedly performing overhead activities
  • Performing the same activity over and over

Unpreventable risk factors:

  • Bone spur development in the bones around the shoulder. These bone spurs can irritate and/or damage the tendon
  • Individuals over 40 years of age are at an increased risk for rotator cuff tears
  • Rotator cuff injuries may be genetic as these injuries tend to occur more commonly in some families

Causes Of Neck Pain With Headache

As cervicogenic headaches shoot from troubles in the neck, varied conditions may trigger this kind of pain. These conditions consist of degenerative health problems such as osteoarthritis, a whiplash injury, or a troubled disc in the neck. Some kinds of sports and a fall can even lead to injuries of the neck and lead to such headaches.

Neck pain with headaches may even happen based on the position of how you stand or sit. A driver, hairstylist, carpenter, or someone who is seated at a table may unintentionally push the chin frontward which also moves the head out in front of the body and this forward movement is termed as cervical protraction. Standing or sitting in this stature for long durations can pressurize or lead to stress on the neck and skulls base leading to a headache with neck pain.

Sleeping in a discomfited posture like with your head too far away to the back or front and off to one particular side can even trigger these kinds of headaches. It can also happen when one sleeps in a chair or sits in bed.

A pinched or compressed nerve near or in the neck is also one cause of this type of headache.

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Orthopedic Care For Shoulder Pain In Kansas

If you experience shoulder pain, you dont have to deal with it alone. An orthopedic doctor can help diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain and recommend effective treatments that can help you find relief.

If you are looking for an experienced and high-quality orthopedic physician for your orthopedic care needs, look no further than Midwest Orthopaedics. Our physicians are all board-certified and have a wealth of experience treating all types of orthopedic conditions and injuries, including ones that cause shoulder pain. We offer all types of treatments, including physical therapy and regenerative medicine, to treat your orthopedic issue effectively.

To make an appointment, please call us at 362-8317 or visit our office in Merriam, Kansas. You can also schedule an appointment using our online request form. We look forward to helping you find relief!

Pressure On The Spinal Nerves

When to see a doctor about shoulder pain for rotator cuff

Herniated discs can be caused by lifting heavy objects or by injuries, such as whiplash. This condition is also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc. When a disc in your back ruptures, pressure may be placed on the spinal nerves.

A herniated disc occurs if the soft inside of a spinal disc pushes out, bulging through a tear in its outer coating. Herniated discs are most common in the lower back, but can also occur in the neck, causing pain in the upper back. They may be more likely to occur in people who are overweight, or in older people.

Other symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • arm or shoulder pain that may be made worse by coughing or sneezing
  • tingling sensation
  • muscle weakness in the arm or shoulder

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How Do I Know When To See A Doctor For My Shoulder Pain

The decision about when to seek medical care for shoulder pain comes down to two simple factors: the degree and the longevity of your pain. Ask yourself these two questions:

1) How bad is the pain? If you have intense pain, seek medical care as soon as possible. If your pain is not severe, you can wait a few days to see if rest may improve your symptoms.

2) How long have you had pain? If youve had shoulder pain that hasnt improved several days after an injury, you should seek medical care. For pain that didnt begin with an injury, you should make an appointment to see a doctor if the pain continues after a few weeks of rest and restricting any activities that might overtax your shoulder.

When you visit a doctor about shoulder pain, you may be asked for a complete medical history. Youll likely have a thorough physical exam and possibly have tests such as x-rays, an MRI or a CT scan. Depending on what the doctor learns from those, they might prescribe rest, physical therapy, pain medication or surgery.

Leaving shoulder pain undiagnosed and untreated may lead to greater pain and loss of mobility later. Talk to your doctor now.

The Pain Is Searing Through Your Chest Too

Numbness or weakness in your arms can be one sign of a strokeor it may also be an indication of a tear in the wall of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in your body that runs in the back of your chest, says Dr. Tien. She adds that youre especially at risk if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure over a long period of time. This can cause a tearing mid-chest and/or back pain, she describes. Just like a stroke, this is an emergency that requires immediate medical care.

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Shoulder Pain Treatment And Home Remedies

For dislocations, separations and fractures, you need a doctorâs help to get your shoulder back in the right position and then a sling to hold it in place while it heals.

For many other issues, your doctor may suggest rest, heat or ice and a medicine like ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce the pain and swelling.

If your shoulder doesnât improve after these first steps, your doctor may try injecting a corticosteroid straight into the joint to relieve swelling and pain.

Sometimes cartilage tears, rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulder donât improve with rest and medicine. Your doctor may recommend surgery.

With any problem in your shoulder, your treatment plan will probably include exercises to help you stretch and strengthen the joint, and to improve your range of motion.

Who To See For Shoulder Pain

When to See a Doctor About Shoulder Pain

If you go to an emergency department, the attending emergency physician or an orthopedic specialist will evaluate you.

Primary care doctors can treat most cases of shoulder pain that are not urgent, but your doctor may refer you to another doctor if you need more specialized care. Your doctor may or may not order a shoulder X-ray or other type of imaging test.

Depending on the underlying cause of shoulder pain and its treatment options, here are some specialists you may see:

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Know When To See A Doctor For Shoulder Pain

Anthony S. Ceraulo, a sports medicine specialist, is one of many Duke providers who treat shoulder injuries.

Shoulder pain is common among people ages 50 and older — due to injury, arthritis, and normal wear and tear — and in younger people who play sports that involve overhead movements, especially racquet sports or those that require throwing. Overworking your shoulder can lead to shoulder discomfort. Often, an over-the-counter medication can provide quick relief. Seek medical care for lasting pain, or if you hear a pop or experience a tearing sensation, says Lee Diehl, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic.

Symptoms Of A Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff injury may:

  • Reduce an individuals range of motion
  • Make it difficult to move the shoulder without pain
  • Cause the affected arm to feel weak
  • Lead to disturbed sleep, especially if the individual lies on the affected shoulder
  • Cause a dull, deep ache in the shoulder

An individuals primary care physician may choose to observe his or her condition for a certain length of time without providing medical treatment. this practice is referred to as watchful waiting. The length of time a physician chooses to employ watchful waiting can range from several days to weeks, or even months.

Although watchful waiting may be suitable in certain instances, watchful waiting is not suitable when:

  • There has been a recent injury
  • The pain in the shoulder is intolerable
  • The shoulder pain is different and/or more severe than previous shoulder pain
  • The pain or stiffness is not improving or worsening

An individual experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms should contact an Orthopaedic surgeon and schedule an appointment. Even if a primary care physician makes a diagnosis, Dr. OGrady can review the medical records to determine which nonsurgical and/or surgical treatments will serve the patient best.

Furthermore, for those with a significant shoulder injury, he or she should seek assistance from a physician as soon as possible.

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Seeking Treatment From The Professionals

If the home remedies do not show any visible improvements, then you need to consult a medical professional to get an apt remedy.

Therapy Sessions

You can undergo massage or physical therapy sessions from professionals. It can offer immense relief in many cases. It is especially effective for people who suffer from pain due to overuse of joints or muscle. The therapy sessions can also work wonders on people who have suffered an injury.

  • Massage Therapy

You can undergo massage therapy by a skilled massage therapist. They work on the specific areas between your shoulder blades. It offers you relief as the massage help your muscle tissue relax. While you can perform the same procedure with a massage device at home, the professionals have a better knowledge of alleviating your pain.

  • Physical/Occupational Therapy

Your doctor can suggest you see a physical or occupational therapist for the pain caused by the injury. The injury or compressed nerve can trigger severe pain. Therefore, the therapist can help you learn certain exercises. Performing it can improve the symptoms associated with the problem.


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Treatment Of Shoulder And Neck Pain On Right Side

Understanding Shoulder Pain and When to See your Doctor

When neck pain is mild or moderate, it is usually possible to treat the symptoms at home. Some cases of neck pain will appear quickly over a period of days while others may require a few weeks to fully resolve. A person may prefer to use home remedies before seeking medical help. People can try the following ways to reduce their pain:


If the source of the pain and the cause of the pain are unknown, or if the symptoms indicate you may have a more serious condition, you should consult your doctor when setting up basic care measures.

  • Rest Apply to the injured area as little as possible for the first two to three days, then slowly begin to apply to the injured area. This speeds up recovery.
  • Ice Put ice in a plastic bag, wrap the bag with a towel, then apply to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every hour. Applying ice directly can damage the skin.
  • Elevation The elevation of the injured area above your heart helps the swelling to drop. This reduces your pain. Use pillows to flatter yourself.

2. Medication

It can take several days to relieve lower back pain using acetaminophen with or without an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen . Strong prescription drugs are usually not necessary, but your doctor may prescribe them for the first few days.

3. Immobilization

4. Heat

Do not use heat in the first week after injury as it may increase swelling in the injured area and exacerbate your pain.

5. See a doctor

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Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain

Considering the range of motion a shoulder has, its perhaps not too surprising how common shoulder pain really isits estimated about 7.5 million people a year see a doctor for shoulder pain, and many more manage the pain at home. Your shoulder allows you to move your arms from side to side, forward and backward, and up above your head. A painful shoulder injury can occur from repetitive motions or acute, sudden injuries chronic illnesses like can damage the joint as well. Here are the most common reasons people experience shoulder pain:

What Causes Impingement Syndrome

Impingement syndrome can occur in athletes, active people and older adults. Its presence can also indicate a number of different-but-related problems, including:

  • Rotator cuff injury: A tear in the tissues that connect muscle to bone around the shoulder joint
  • Shoulder instability: A feeling of looseness in the shoulder
  • Bone spurs: Projections that develop at the edges of bone
  • Labral injury: A tear in the cartilage
  • Disease of the tendon: Problems in the tissue that connects muscle to bone
  • Osteoarthritis: Pain that occurs when tissue at the end of the bone wears down

Eventually, impingement syndrome can lead to other injuries, so its important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and care plan.

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Get Moving But Carefully

  • Ease back into your normal daily activities as soon as you can. Movement helps your muscles stay strong.
  • Avoid activities such as lifting and sports that make pain and stiffness worse.
  • Do stretching and strengthening exercises to keep your neck flexible and strong and prevent stiffness.
  • Avoid or change any activities that may be causing your neck pain, such as sitting for a long time at the computer or doing too much overhead work at a time.
  • Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and encourage blood flow. Dont massage the injured area if it causes pain. Non-prescription creams or gels, such as Bengay, may provide pain relief.

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