The Importance of Seeing an Orthopedist for Your Shoulder Pain
Your shoulder joint allows some of your greatest movements. Problems in the use of your shoulder joint cause restrictions in leading a full and productive life. Learn how orthopedic treatments offer hope and healing to many shoulder injuries and conditions.
Complex Shoulder Anatomy
Your shoulder joints deserve specialized care because of their complex construction. These joints are where the humerus, scapular, and clavicle bones meet. They are held together by a group of four muscles called the rotator cuff. Ligaments provide support between the bone structures. Problems can arise within any part of these structures.
Common Shoulder Problems
Injuries to the shoulder are either acute (sudden onset) or chronic (ongoing) in nature.
Acute injuries include:
Dislocations. These injuries occur when the top of the arm bone comes out of the shoulder socket.
Fractures. Fractures are breaks or cracks within the bone that occur either across or along the length of the bone.
Sprains. These injuries happen when ligaments stretch or tear as they are pulled too far in the wrong direction.
Torn rotator cuffs. This debilitating condition occurs when one of the major tendons in the shoulder tears and pulls away from the top of the arm bone.
Arthritis. This painful and limiting condition causes restrictive stiffness and swelling in the shoulder joint.
Bursitis. The bursae are small sacs of fluid that allow tendons to slide over bones as they move. At times the bursae swell and become inflamed through overuse.
Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). Stiffness and soreness in the shoulder and neck muscles resulting from posture and overuse.
Tendinitis. This condition occurs when the rotator cuff becomes inflamed and irritated.
Shoulder Injury Treatments
Though a short period of self-care is reasonable, professional orthopedic help must be sought if problems persist. Ignoring such problems will only make the situation worse.
Assessment. A complete medical history allows for analysis of the condition. A thorough examination allows the orthopedist to determine the exact cause of the problem.
Imaging Testing. CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and X-rays provide your orthopedic team with detailed information to pinpoint your treatment needs.
Medicines. Many therapeutic medicines are available, including pain relievers and steroid treatments such as cortisone shots.
Physical Therapy. Trained professionals guide you in exercises for pain relief while improving the range of motion.
Surgery. At times, surgery is an excellent option for removing scar tissue and repairing large tears or fractures.