The shoulder joint is one of the strongest joints you have. It is made up of several joints, tendons and muscles that collectively allow a wide range of arm motion. While the shoulder joint is so flexible, it is prone to injuries that cause pain. When there is increasing issues with impingement of the bony or soft structures of the shoulder, pain can be the outcome. It is at this point that seeing a shoulder pain doctor NYC will be necessary.
A shoulder pain doctor NYC can examine your joint, figure out its problem and offer the best treatment options. Pain management doctors tend to be the best specialists because they understand the shoulder anatomy so well. They can locate the root cause of pain via advanced medical techniques and determine the right cures.
The anatomy of your shoulder joint
There are three different bones in your shoulder: humerous, scapula and clavicle. Also called the upper arm bone, humerous head enters into a circular socket (glenoid) within your scapula (shoulder blade). To ensure that the arm bone stays in the middle of the shoulder socket, the muscles and tendons work together. These soft tissues make up the rotator cuff, cover the head of the upper arm bone and fix it to the scapula. If there is severe ache, your shoulder pain doctor NYC will examine your rotator cuff tissues and the bony structures.
Why does the shoulder hurt?
There several different causes of shoulder pain and we will discuss 4 of them next. These include:
- Rotator cuff issues
Your rotator cuff has four muscles and tendons that promote shoulder movement and stability. When the shoulder is moved, the rotator cuff allows smooth movement and stability. The rotator cuff is therefore an active component of your shoulder joint and is therefore prone to injuries: tendinitis, strain and bursitis. According to the best shoulder and back pain doctor NYC, rotator cuff issues are divided into three categories:
- Tendinitis –This is an injury that occurs due to the overuse of the rotator cuff and it makes it inflamed. Tendinitis is common among people who have to lift their hand above their head when working or playing a sport
- Bursitis –This rotator cuff injury occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed. The bursae consist of sacs that are filled with fluid and are located between the rotator cuff tendons and the bone beneath them. Bursae provide padding between the bone and the soft tissues above it. They reduce friction between the gliding bone and muscle. If the shoulder is used excessively, inflammation and swelling of the bursa resting between the rotator cuff and the acromion(a portion of the shoulder blade) can happen. This condition is called subacromial bursitis and it is among the shoulder issues that pain management doctors When bursitis and tendinitis affect your shoulder joint at once, a lot of discomfort can be felt.
- Rotator cuff tears or strains –These happen due to acute injury or overuse. If tendons that attach muscles to bones overstretch completely or partially, that’s a tear or strain. Some people encounter this strain or tear after being involved in a vehicle accident, a fall accident or an abrupt injury. And if there are injuries, the pain in the shoulder can happen abruptly and intensely.
While rotator cuff injuries are known to cause pain, it’s not all of them that do— according to pain management doctors. Some injuries take years to develop in the rotator cuff and are triggered by degenerative diseases. Symptoms to look out for include the following:
- Pain in the shoulder when some activities are done
- Stiffness in the shoulder, restricting a full range of motion
- Having a hard time sleeping on the aching shoulder
- Pain or tenderness is felt when trying to reach overhead
- Shoulder ache that attacks at night
- Shoulder weakness that keeps on progressing
- Inability to reach behind your back.
Have you been experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms? If so, see your shoulder pain doctor NYC soon. Rotator cuff injuries are diagnosed via imaging scans, medical history and physical exams. One of the best pain management doctors will wish to know the kind of physical activities you perform at your workplace to know if you are prone to rotator cuff tears.
It goes without saying that the shoulder pain doctor NYC will try to locate arthritis in your shoulder joint as well as see if you have a compressed nerve. To locate bone spurs that are known to rub against the rotator cuff tendon and trigger inflammation and pain, the back pain doctor NYC will do an X-ray. Just to get a more accurate result and to see the current status of your tendons and muscles, a specialist like Dr Michael Nguyen might do a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
When it comes to treating a rotator cuff tear, your pain management doctors can provide a wide range of options. The right option will be picked according to the seriousness of your rotator cuff injury. In fifty percent of people who have a rotator cuff injury, non-surgical cures tend to be reliable. They usually include the following:
- Using hot or cold compression packs to reduce swelling in the affected shoulder
- Injecting the affected shoulder with cortisone. This is steroid that is known to reduce inflammation.
- Use of anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen
- Making sure that you rest the affected hand by wearing a sling and avoiding using it in any way.
- Doing guided arm exercises to re-establish its strength and range of motion.
Besides the above non-surgical treatments, rotator cuff issues can be more severe that they can only be eliminated through surgery. A surgical operation can improve the shoulder strength and cure pain. To prevent rotator cuff tears, pain management doctors recommend taking frequent breaks when working. That is if you are involved in a sport or job that require you to do frequent overhead movements.
As well, your back pain doctor NYC will tell you to keep exercising your joint. This will reduce the load on the shoulder and reduce stiffness.
Frozen shoulder refers to a condition that restricts its range of motion. Also called adhesive capsulitis, the condition develops when a scar tissue forms over a long period of time as the shoulder joint gets thicker and tighter. The scar tissue then reduces space within which the shoulder joint rotates. Anyone who is 40 to 60 years old can develop a frozen shoulder condition. A frozen shoulder ca cause pain, swelling and stiffness. Unless there is pain, a victim cannot know they have this condition and cannot visit the best pain management doctors near them.
One thing that pain does is to limit shoulder movements, resulting to stiffness. And when your shoulder is stiff you cannot reach for a book or another item on a high shelf without feeling severe discomfort. Putting on clothes can also become a difficult daily activity and that’s when seeking medical help from a good shoulder pain doctor NYC can be useful.
But why do people develop a frozen shoulder problem? First, the problem is common among those with diabetes, hormonal imbalance and/or a weakened immune system. Besides these causes, a frozen shoulder can be triggered by being inactive due to an injury, surgery or illness. This can result to adhesions or bands of inflexible tissue. If the case is too serious, scar tissue can form and severely restrict your range of motion. Are you wearing a sling for an extended period of time after surgery or injury?
Have you had a recent case of surgery or stroke and must stay still for severe months? Do you live with thyroid disorders? If you answered yes to any of the above-mentioned questions, you are likely to develop a frozen shoulder. Obviously, your risk is bigger if you are a female, a middle-aged person or a person living with diabetes (you are three times more likely to develop a frozen shoulder). Diagnosis of a frozen shoulder entails a visit to the best shoulder pain doctor NYC for a physical exam.
The shoulder and back pain doctor NYC will ask you to do certain shoulder movements and then observe and assess your range of motion. He or she might ask you to try and touch your opposite shoulder with your affected hand as a way to measure the range of motion of the shoulder. Sometimes the pain management doctors perform a MRI scan to see whether there is a rotator cuff tear or another issue.
To check if you have arthritis of the shoulder, X-rays may be done and in the process, possible abnormalities can be captured. Sometimes arthogram for X-ray may be offered and it entails injecting a particular dye into the shoulder joint. This enables the doctor to see the structure of the shoulder joint. About treatment, your shoulder pain doctor NYC can offer a combination therapy that entails physical therapy, surgery, medicines and self-help tricks.
Physical therapy involves stretching exercises designed to restore shoulder strength and proper range of motion. Physical therapy can take a couple of weeks or up to nine months to produce progress. If it doesn’t help after six months, call one of the top pain management doctors in your area and alert him or her. Medicines might be prescribed to stop joint inflammation and pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen sodium can be provided. If these are combined with a steroid injection in your shoulder joint, they can be super helpful. As for homecare, you can place an ice pack in the shoulder for fifteen minutes each day to reduce pain. If this is combined with certain exercises, a frozen shoulder condition should improve without the need for surgery. All the same, pain management doctors can suggest surgery to eliminate chronic shoulder pain.
The surgery will be aimed at breaking up any adhesions and allowing a full range of motion. It goes without saying that general anesthetic drug will be given to numb the area prior to surgery. Arthroscopic type of surgery entails a tiny cut in the shoulder and using an arthroscope camera as a guide when removing the scar tissue from the frozen shoulder joint. If your shoulder pain doctor NYC performs this surgery a few weeks after you endured an injury that lead to a frozen shoulder condition, the outcome might be good.
Usually an outpatient treatment, arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder requires removal of stitches after ten days. In about three months, your shoulder’s free range of motion will have been restored. Although surgery is risky, it does have its benefits when performed by a good shoulder pain doctor NYC. You will need to give your operated area adequate time to recover before doing physical exercises to restore a full range of motion.
Arthritis of the shoulder
If you don’t have rotator cuff problems or a frozen shoulder condition, your pain management doctors will want to know if you have arthritis. There are different types of arthritis that affect the shoulder joint. The most common is called osteoarthritis and is caused by wear and tear that comes with the natural aging process. If there is swelling, pain and stiffness in the joint, osteoarthritis will be the likely culprit. Sometimes this wear and tear arthritis results from work or sports-related injuries.
If rotator cuff tears, inflammation of the joint lining and infection are not discovered on time, other kinds of arthritis could crop up. When there is arthritic pain, shoulder movements will be difficult to do due to joint stiffness and tightening. Arthritis is often treated by the shoulder pain doctor NYC with drugs that reduce inflammation and pain.
Broken bones within the shoulder joint can also lead to pain and your shoulder pain doctor NYC will perform medical tests to ascertain if there are fractures. The fracture can involve your collarbone (clavical), upperarm bone (humerous) or shoulder blade (scapula). If you are an older person, you can fracture a shoulder bone after falling from a standing height.
As a young person, you can break a bone after suffering a high impact injury, including a motor vehicle accident or a contact sports injury. Besides excessive pain, a broken shoulder bone can cause swelling and bruising. Therefore, you should get attended by some of the leading pain management doctors in your area.