Shoulder pain is a common problem, especially among athletes. If your shoulder pain is keeping you up at night, interfering with your performance, or worsening over time, it might be time to consider seeking medical attention. An experienced sports medicine doctor can diagnose exactly what’s paining you, and take steps to alleviate it while speeding up healing.
Dr. Philip Regala practices orthopedic medicine in Naples, Florida. If you have acute or chronic shoulder pain, he can assess the problem and help you obtain the care you need.
Understanding shoulder pain
The human shoulder is a complex system of joints, tendons, and muscles working together to achieve a wide range of motion. Most shoulder injuries involve the rotator cuff, which holds your humerus bone inside its socket. Arthritis can also cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation within the joint.
Getting an accurate diagnosis for your shoulder pain is the first step to treating it. If you’re an athlete, you should seek help from a sports medicine doctor as soon as possible to avoid long-term effects from the injury. Common causes of shoulder pain include:
- Instability, often caused by previous/repeated dislocations of the shoulder
- Bursitis, or inflammation of the fluid-filled cushions in your joint
- Tendinitis, an inflammation of rotator cuff tendons
- Torn tendons, caused by an acute injury or wear-and-tear
- Arthritis, often osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear)
- Impingement, when the shoulder blade puts pressure on the rotator cuff
Shoulder pain can be acute or chronic. Acute shoulder pain occurs after an injury, but goes away after time or treatment. Chronic pain is often caused by degenerative conditions, like osteoarthritis.
When to seek treatment
You should seek medical attention if your shoulder pain is caused by a recent injury, worsens over time, or interferes with your daily life.
Many people experience brief aches and pains, especially if they injured their shoulder in the past. However, if your pain is severe or unimproving, it might be a sign that something is wrong. Additional symptoms you may experience include:
- Swelling and inflammation
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle weakness
If you’re suffering from shoulder pain, stop using your shoulder. Take a break from sports or hard labor, and give your joint time to heal. However, you shouldn’t stop moving entirely. Practice gentle stretching to alleviate pain and prevent stiffness.
In the meantime, make an appointment with a sports medicine doctor like Dr. Regala. He has the anatomical knowledge and experience to deal with your injury, and he might offer treatments that your family physician does not.
Dr. Regala offers a number of solutions to patients suffering from shoulder pain, including:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections to alleviate pain
- PRP injections to encourage healing
If conservative methods aren’t alleviating your pain, Dr. Regala might recommend surgery. All procedures are done arthroscopically, so they’re as minimally invasive as possible. This decreases post-op pain and speeds up recovery.
Tired of suffering from shoulder pain? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Regala to begin healing. You can get in touch by calling 239-325-1131, or book an appointment online.