Shoulder pain can be debilitating, since we use our shoulders every day to achieve daily tasks like bathing, cooking, and caring for our children. The shoulder joint is one of the most important and most used joints within the body. So, when range of motion is diminishing or pain is getting in the way of living life, patients can be left discouraged. Even worse – when shoulder pain is left untreated, it can cause severe damage that can be difficult to repair without invasive surgical procedures.
Let’s discuss what causes shoulder pain, when to see a doctor for an accurate shoulder pain diagnosis, and the risks involved when shoulder pain is left untreated.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Like with most types of chronic pain, the pain in your shoulder can be caused by a variety of different factors depending on your lifestyle and body. That being said, there are a few common reasons why shoulder pain occurs in patients. Common causes of shoulder pain include the following:
- Rotator Cuff Injuries The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint that are responsible for helping your arm move fluidly and freely. Injuries to the rotator cuff like rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, and bursitis can all be causes of chronic pain in the shoulder. These injuries could be caused by an auto accident, a sports incident, or just wear and tear over time.
- Frozen ShoulderFrozen shoulder is exactly what it sounds like – it occurs when the muscles and tendons around the shoulder become so stiff that movement becomes painful and difficult. Frozen shoulder is very common in those who struggle with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
- Arthritis & Osteoarthritis Arthritis is a condition in which the joints become inflamed, and osteoarthritis affects the cartilage, or padding, around the bones and joints. Because the shoulder is a ball and socket joint, it can often be affected by arthritis and osteoarthritis, causing long-term pain in patients.
When to See a Doctor for Shoulder Pain
It’s important to see a doctor the moment you think you may need treatment for shoulder pain – but, how exactly does someone know it’s time to seek treatment? A great rule of thumb is to look out for the following signs:
- Consistent pain without relief over a period of several days or weeks
- Decreased range of motion over time
- Pain that keeps you up at night
- Pain that prevents you from achieving daily tasks
- Pain that worsens over time
- Sudden or sharp pain around the neck and shoulders
An orthopedic doctor will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis for your shoulder pain, allowing you to get the proper treatment that can alleviate the pain and restore full range of motion.
Risks of Untreated Shoulder Pain
Receiving treatment for your shoulder pain is imperative to living a healthy and happy life. If left untreated, chronic shoulder pain can get in the way of achieving simple daily tasks like lifting your arms above your head to reach something on the top shelf or even carrying your child throughout the day. When severe damage is done to the shoulder joint, oftentimes surgery is the only treatment option. To avoid the need for surgery, it’s important to seek treatment from an orthopedic doctor as soon as you feel discomfort in your shoulder for more than a few days. This will ensure you can take advantage of the most treatment options possible before the condition progresses further.
Shoulder Pain Treatment Near Me
Are you struggling with shoulder pain and need to see a doctor? Come in and see the expert providers at Advanced Bone & Joint. Our team of dedicated doctors and staff members are proud to offer cutting-edge treatments and evidence-based care to men and women in O’Fallon, Wentzville, and St. Peters, MO.
If you have any questions about our shoulder pain treatments or how our orthopedic professionals can best benefit you, we encourage you to give us a call today at (636) 229-4222. One of our dedicated staff members will be happy to assist you. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, please use our online appointment scheduler .