Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can severely limit daily activity and diminish the quality of life. The most common causes of shoulder pain are:
- Impingement due to overuse or repetitive motion with the shoulder in an awkward position
- Injuries such as rotator cuff tear, anterior shoulder instability, shoulder dislocation, or fracture
- Posture or muscle imbalance problems
- Referred pain – such as problems in your neck causing pain in your shoulder
- Arthritis – less common
Getting to the Root Cause of Shoulder Pain
There are lots of possible causes for shoulder pain, and the problem may not always be in your shoulder. Therefore you must have a proper diagnosis in order to seek the right treatment for you.
- See your family doctor.
- Your family doctor may refer you to an orthopedic specialist, or you may make an appointment to see one of our orthopedic specialists directly.
Your family doctor or orthopedic specialist may use one or more of the following evaluation methods to arrive at a diagnosis.
- Physical examination
- Arthrogram – an X-ray with dye injected into the joint
- Blood test for rheumatoid arthritis
- Electromyogram – if the cause is believed to be in the neck
Typically, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments.
- Medication – typically oral anti-inflammatories
- Rest or activity modification – if the cause is overuse
- Cortisone injections
- Physical or occupational therapy – Person Memorial Hospital offers comprehensive rehabilitation services. Ask your doctor about getting a referral to our services.
- Arthroscopic surgery – a minimally invasive surgery involving small incisions and the use of a fiber-optic scope.
- Open rotator cuff repairs
- Shoulder replacement