Summit Primary Care
Family Medicine located in Denver, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Pueblo, CO & La Junta, CO
Are you tempted to push through shoulder pain, hoping it will improve? If so, you should know that using an injured shoulder opens the door to chronic instability, a longer recovery, and may increase your risk of needing surgery. The team at Summit Primary Care has years of experience diagnosing and treating shoulder pain. They offer individualized treatment that eases the pain and restores shoulder strength and function. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, La Junta, or Pueblo, Colorado, or book online today.
Shoulder Pain Q & A
What causes shoulder pain?
Your shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint allows an incredible range of arm movement. Yet all that movement depends on the support of four muscles.
These muscles, called the rotator cuff, hold your arm in the shoulder joint and allow the full range of motion. As a result, rotator cuff injuries have the top spot when it comes to causes of shoulder pain.
Other conditions that frequently cause shoulder pain include:
- Shoulder dislocation
- Biceps tendinitis
- Shoulder impingement
- Frozen shoulder
- Shoulder labral tear
Many people end up with shoulder pain when daily activities take a toll on the soft tissues that support the joint.
Your chances of developing shoulder pain go up if you enjoy sports or have a job requiring overhead movement. Painters, pitchers, and weight lifters are a few examples of people at risk for shoulder pain.
What other symptoms accompany shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain seldom occurs alone. Instead, it comes together with other symptoms such as:
- Arm or shoulder weakness
- Difficulty lifting your arm
- Pain when lifting objects
- Shoulder instability
- Shoulder muscle spasms
- Swelling and bruising
- Clicking sensation in the shoulder
- Limited range of motion
If you have a frozen shoulder, you will experience shoulder pain and gradually lose arm movement.
Does shoulder pain mean I’m at risk for joint instability?
Shoulder pain alone doesn’t increase your risk for joint instability. But, if the cause of your pain doesn’t fully heal, then the supporting soft tissues don’t regain their strength. Weaker tissues mean you have a loose shoulder joint that easily dislocates.
Getting early treatment is the best way to prevent chronic instability. If you keep using your shoulder despite the pain, the injured tissues can’t heal properly.
How is shoulder pain treated?
After examining your shoulder, your Summit Primary Care provider may order diagnostic imaging to accurately diagnose the underlying condition. Shoulder pain treatment includes conservative options such as:
- Resting or immobilizing your shoulder
- Ice and heat
- Activity modification
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Joint injections (steroids)
- Physical therapy
Some underlying causes of shoulder pain, especially dislocations, ruptured tendons, and compound fractures, may need surgery to repair the damaged tissues and ensure they regain optimal strength.
To get relief from shoulder pain, call Summit Primary Care or schedule an appointment online today.