Pain is, unfortunately, something you'll experience at some point in your life, but most of the time it's minor. However, with certain activities and professions, your chance of shoulder pain due to injury is increased. Sometimes these injuries are treated conservatively, but others could require you to get treatment.
At Bay Oaks Orthopedics, our team helps you figure out what's causing the discomfort in your shoulder. Whatever the cause, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Melillo helps you find a treatment plan that works for you.
Common shoulder problems
Much like any other injury that you may experience, shoulder injuries can happen at just about any time, and can occur from either trauma or overuse of the joint. Injuries can be severe or mild, and may or may not interfere with your daily activities. However, sometimes your pain comes from medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
So how do you know what condition is causing your shoulder pain? The first question Dr. Mellilo asks is if you recall a certain injury to your shoulder. If you can’t recall a specific injury, he asks about your job or your daily exercise and activities to pinpoint a possible overuse injury. Some of the shoulder problems these causes lead to include:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Impingement syndrome
- Bone spurs
In some cases, your pain is caused by either a shoulder dislocation or a fracture. In these cases, you want to get seen as soon as possible to prevent further injury to your shoulder. Knowing what symptoms to look out for can help you decide if you should seek treatment.
Symptoms of a problem
Pain is sometimes the very first sign that you’ve suffered an injury. However, damage that’s due to overuse or wear and tear may not be painful at first. Some common signs that you’re dealing with a shoulder injury include:
- Pain with movement
- Decreased range of motion
You might also notice a popping sound when you move your shoulder, or your shoulder could feel like it’s popping. If you don’t have the ability to move your arm or use your shoulder at all due to pain, you could be dealing with more than just a minor injury.
If you’re unsure of whether you’ve suffered an injury to your shoulder, you should always err on the side of caution and make an appointment with Dr. Mellilo.
When to make an appointment
When considering whether or not you should get seen for your shoulder pain, think of how the pain is affecting your daily activities. If your shoulder is preventing you from working or performing simple tasks, you should probably make an appointment.
Your shoulder pain might allow you to perform simple activities, but not all the tasks you need to do to get through your day. Although you can use your other arm for a short time, it’s not good to do that for long. If you’re struggling every day to get dressed, drive, or brush your hair, medical treatment is needed to ease your pain.
Changes in activity aren’t the only reason you should get help for your shoulder. There are more severe issues that need to be addressed immediately, including:
- Joint deformity
- Sudden swelling
- Severe pain
- Inability to move your shoulder
There are several other more common reasons that you’ll want to make an appointment to see Dr. Mellilo. These reasons include:
- Pain that doesn’t get better with conservative measures
- Pain while at rest
- You experience weakness or numbness
- Intensity of pain gets worse or changes
If ever you’re in doubt of whether or not you should get medical help for your shoulder pain, it’s best to be safe and get checked out before you end up with more damage to your joint.
When you've had enough of shoulder pain and discomfort, call our office at 281-223-1391, or book an appointment online with Dr. Malillo using our convenient online booking tool.