Shoulder Pain Pain Management in Knoxville, TNIt is estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience shoulder pain during their lifetime. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over 13 million Americans per year seek medical care for shoulder pain, of which only a third is related to an injury. Many shoulder disorders have similar symptoms so the reason behind the pain is not always clear. In this article, we will discuss the most common causes, symptoms, and explore treatment options for shoulder pain in Knoxville that can provide relief.
What are the causes of shoulder pain?The shoulder consists of two joints – a small one that connects the shoulder blade to the collar bone and a bigger, ball-and-socket one that connects the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments hold the bones of the joint in place, assist with motion, and provide stability. The shoulder joint has the widest range of motion in the body but that’s what makes it more vulnerable to damage. Here we will take a look at the most common causes of shoulder pain.
DislocationA shoulder dislocation happens when the head of the arm bone comes out of the joint socket as a result of an injury. Dislocations can be partial or complete and are usually caused by a strong pull on the arm that overwhelms the muscles. A dislocated shoulder appears swollen and misaligned. A doctor can fix it by inserting the bone back into the socket but the stretched or torn ligaments and muscles might take some time to heal.
FractureAny of the three bones that make up the shoulder – the upper arm bone, the shoulder blade, and the collar bone – can break from an injury, such as a fall or a car accident. A patient with a shoulder fracture has to wear a sling to keep the bones in place until they heal.
Rotator cuff injuriesThe rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that keep the shoulder joint in place and allow it to move in a circle. Muscles are attached to the bones by strong, dense cords called tendons. Around 2 million Americans per year visit a doctor for rotator cuff issues, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
- Rotator cuff inflammation can be caused by an irritation of the tendons (tendinitis), swelling of the lubricating sac in the joint (bursitis), or a tendon rubbing on the nearby bone (impingement). The pain is usually worse when the arm is lifted. Athletes that use overhead arm motion, for example, in tennis, swimming, or basketball, are at a higher risk of developing these conditions.
- Rotator cuff tear occurs when a tendon is partially or completely separated from the bone. It can happen from an injury but the more common cause is age-related tendon degeneration. As we get older, the blood circulation to the tendons decreases, compromising their ability to repair and making them more susceptible to tearing. Torn rotator cuff causes pain in the shoulder, limited range of motion, and weakening of the muscles.
ArthritisArthritis of the shoulder occurs when the cartilage that lines the inside of the joint starts to break down, resulting in direct contact between the bones. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease that tends to affect the older population. It usually develops over the course of a few years, with the pain getting stronger over time.
Frozen shoulderFrozen shoulder is a disorder that is characterized by a thickening and stiffening of the tissues around the joint, making it impossible to move the shoulder for months or even years.
Referred painSome conditions like certain heart problems, lung problems, or a pinched nerve in the neck can bring on a painful sensation in the shoulder area. As opposed to other types of shoulder pain that get better or worse when the joint is moved, referred pain remains constant. Rarely, shoulder pain can be a sign of a more serious issue, such as a tumor, infection, or nerve damage. According to the 2008 review article published in the American Family Physician journal, younger patients (under 40 years old) are more likely to suffer from shoulder dislocations and milder rotator cuff disease, whereas older patients are at a higher risk of developing arthritis and chronic rotator cuff tears.
How diagnose the root cause?To find the underlying cause of the pain in the shoulder, a doctor will take the patient’s medical history, ask questions about the symptoms, and perform a physical examination. The exam involves inspecting the joint for misalignment or swelling, testing the range of motion, and checking for muscle weakness. Imaging tests are sometimes used by shoulder pain specialists in Knoxville to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays and CT scans can show dislocation, fracture, or arthritic changes to the joint. An MRI scan can help identify any injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. An arthrogram is another diagnostic tool that involves injecting a contrast fluid into the joint to reveal any tears or blockages.
How to treat shoulder pain?Treatment of shoulder pain mainly depends on the severity of the symptoms. For mild pain, shoulder rest, hot and cold compresses, and over-the-counter painkillers may be sufficient to assist with recovery. If the conservative treatment is not effective, corticosteroid injections can provide temporary pain relief by delivering a steroid and anesthetic solution directly into the joint. It is recommended to combine pain management treatment with physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises will help improve the range of motion and overall shoulder function. Rarely, if the symptoms persist despite the treatment, Knoxville surgical intervention might be necessary, such as tear repairs, fracture repair, or shoulder replacement.
ConclusionShoulder pain is a common medical complaint that can be caused by a variety of conditions. Shoulder pain in the younger population is usually caused by a physical injury, while for those over 40 years old the underlying cause of shoulder problems is more likely to be age-related degenerative disorders. If you have shoulder pain that is not improving, contacting a doctor is the best way to get to the root of the issue and receive suitable treatment and a pain management plan.
Shoulder Pain Treatment in Knoxville, TNWith any injury of the joint it’s critical to first deal with the issue and then create a plan of prevention and pain management. TAKE ACTION WITH Omega Pain Management, one of the best pain clinics in Knoxville, TN! A qualified staff of exceptional specialists and shoulder pain doctors in Knoxville will assess your condition and work with you to create a progressive pain management schedule that moves you into the pain-free zone fast! Time for you to release the pain with Omega Pain Management and open the door to ache and pain-free living again. All that’s left is for you to pick up the phone and make the call. Call 865-337-5137 TODAY and set yourself free! Click on the following links if you want to find out more about Dr. Igor Smelyansky and Omega Pain Management Clinic.
Mitchell C, Adebajo A, Hay E, Carr A. Shoulder pain: diagnosis and management in primary care. BMJ. 2005 Nov 12;331(7525):1124-8. doi: 10.1136/bmj.331.7525.1124. PMID: 16282408; PMCID: PMC1283277.
Burbank KM, Stevenson JH, Czarnecki GR, Dorfman J. Chronic shoulder pain: part I. Evaluation and diagnosis. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Feb 15;77(4):453-60. PMID: 18326164.