What’s Causing Your Shoulder Pain?

When our bodies are working well, we tend to coast along and take them for granted. But if we experience pain or our mobility is somehow limited, then we pay attention. 

One of the most disabling types of pain is shoulder pain. Your shoulder is your most mobile joint, and you use it constantly. 

Not only does it enable you to rotate your arm, it allows you to move your shoulders forward and backward. Both maneuvers come in handy, whether you’re dancing, playing baseball, or simply performing daily tasks. 

The team of skilled orthopedic physicians and advanced practitioners at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine creates a personalized care plan to treat your shoulder pain, no matter what its cause. Their orthopedic treatment toolbox contains many options that can bring your pain level to zero. 

The many causes of shoulder pain

The fact that the shoulder is so mobile also means that your risk of injury is greater than if it only allowed limited movement.

Four tendons, which help connect bone and muscle, comprise the rotator cuff. Injury and inflammation of these tendons are a major cause of shoulder pain.

Overall, treating shoulder pain gets complicated because there are so many causes, including:

This is just a handful of problems linked to shoulder pain, but there are more — and every patient’s instance of shoulder pain that we treat is truly unique. 

The origins of shoulder pain

It’s important to remember that the causes of shoulder pain stem from multiple sources, too. 

You might end up with a torn rotator cuff due to a sports injury, arthritis in your shoulder because you’re over 60, or a fall-induced broken collarbone

Other factors are less dramatic (but no less painful) and related simply to overuse and repetitive movement over time. Sports like swimming and tennis often lead to shoulder problems, while workplace repetitive movements like manipulating a computer mouse or using vibrating power tools can lead to shoulder pain. 

Certain illnesses are even linked to chronic shoulder pain, like gallbladder and heart disease. 

How should I treat my shoulder pain?

Your shoulder pain may clear up if you rest your shoulder or use some over-the-counter pain medication, but if the problem is chronic, the pain will return and likely worsen. 

If you need professional treatment for your shoulder pain, the Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine team approaches it from every angle. We learn about your pain history, and we may take an X-ray of your shoulder to get a better idea of what’s going on.

Based on this information, we design a treatment plan just for you. We typically prescribe a combination of medication and cortisone injections, physical therapy, a sling, and platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, which harnesses your body’s power to heal. 

If your shoulder doesn’t respond to these treatments, we discuss surgery with you, but you’re in great hands here as well, if that ends up being necessary. Our physicians perform everything from minimally invasive procedures like shoulder arthroscopy to more involved ones like shoulder replacement surgery.

Figure out the source of your shoulder pain and get it treated

There’s no sense in living with the misery of persistent shoulder pain. You’ll feel better if you take a proactive approach to your pain by calling our office at 816-841-3805 or using our convenient online booking tool

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