Who is a Shoulder Pain Specialist?
A shoulder pain specialist is a doctor who has extensive knowledge of the state of the art techniques for treating pain in your joints. This pain doctor will first of all diagnosis your condition accurately before suggesting non-intrusive methods for either reducing or eliminating your pain without the use of narcotics. At a pain treatment clinic, your well-trained shoulder pain specialist will triage your case to other appropriate therapists or physicians to help you avoid surgery. The process all starts with a careful diagnosis.
Shoulder Pain Specialist: What is Causing Your Pain?
Often chronic pain is the result of wear and tear of the soft tissues of your shoulder joint, especially if you are older. While acute injuries may be the result of excessive repetitive motion such as occurs with a favorite sport or tasks at work.
The rotator cuff in your shoulder joint involves four muscles and tendons that hold the ball and socket of your shoulder joint in place while allowing movement in many different directions. Many times, the pain is a result of a tear in one of the soft tissues or a nerve that is pinched in the joint.
Shoulder Pain Specialist: Diagnosis
An accurate diagnosis is critical to your recovery as the pain you feel can be a signal for many different conditions, but most of the time the pain is a result of damage to the soft tissues. The shoulder pain specialist at the pain treatment clinic will examine your shoulder, ask you to move in a particular manner and will order some imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. He or she will also converse with you about your health, ask for a list of prescription drugs you are currently taking or have taken over periods of time and review any conditions you are encountering, besides your shoulder. It is only after this thorough investigation that the cause of your shoulder problems can be isolated. Your pain physician will determine if there is a fracture in the bone structure or if your pain is the result of a disease such as arthritis or isf the issue rests with soft tissue damage.
There are many things you can do at home to alleviate your pain and accelerate the healing process, once it has been determined that the injury is limited to the soft tissues. RICE is an easy way to remember some of the critical aspects of what you can do at home.
- REST: Stop the activity that is causing you the pain for a day or two and then gently begin moving the area.
- ICE: Put cold packs on the area to reduce inflammation and to ease your pain.
- COMPRESSION: Support your shoulder with a brace or sling to prevent any further tearing.
- ELEVATE: Keep your shoulder elevated to reduce inflammation.
- Pain Medication and Anti-Inflammatories: It is essential for you to be as mobile as you are able to promote the healing process and reduce the inflammation. By relieving your pain, you will be able to be as mobile as possible.
- Medicated Rubs: Some people experience relief from these rubs as they promote blood flow which helps in your healing process.
Urgent Need to See a Shoulder Pain Specialist
If you experience any of the following, you need to see a pain doctor in New York or pain doctor in New Jersey for an accurate diagnosis as soon as you can. Please contact the pain management specialist as quickly as possible.
- If your pain is a result of a fall or a blow such as might have been experienced in a car accident.
- If your pain is causing incontinence.
- If you are experiencing a fever as well as pain.
- If you have a tingling in your extremities.
- If your pain is severe or if it is getting worse, despite the home remedies you have tried.
Shoulder Pain Specialist: Non-Intrusive Methods of Treatment
Your shoulder pain specialist will discuss treatment options to help you avoid surgery and the use of narcotics. Often treatment involves several components of the following options.
- Physical Therapy: Your shoulder pain specialist will coordinate with your physical therapist to provide exercises that will promote healing for any tears and increase strength to prevent any further damage. Your physical therapist will also set up a home exercise program so that you can continue the therapy in between visits. He or she will also discuss the activity that is causing your pain to suggest alternative methods to prevent reinjury in the future. The methods could include a brace, completing the action in a different manner or using equipment that would alleviate the pressure on your shoulder
- Acupuncture: Many patients enjoy relief from pain by using this ancient method which uses the body’s own mechanisms to block the pain message from reaching your brain. Very thin needles are inserted in specific areas of your body to block the pain message, allowing you to move more naturally to promote your healing.
- Prescription Anti-inflammatories: Your pain physician can provide oral medication to reduce the swelling in the area that is putting pressure on any nerves.
- Anti-inflammatory Injections: Injections of an anti-inflammatory medication to the site of the injury is a more targeted way of reducing your swelling.
If all other non-intrusive methods do not bring you relief, then your knowledgeable shoulder pain specialist will suggest surgery. He or she will connect with your orthopedic surgeon to update them on your details. With surgery, there are less intrusive methods than others.
- Arthroscopy: This is the least invasive method. Your surgeon will use a pencil-sized device equipped with a camera to view the problem area. Once the extent of the injury has been determined, then your surgeon will use tools to repair the damaged tissue. Often this surgery does not involve an overnight stay at a hospital.
- Open Surgery: Sometimes a more extensive surgery is required. Your surgeon will review all of the options specific to your condition, so that you may make a reasonable decision about the various methods open to you.
After surgery, you will require care to provide the fastest recovery possible. The care will likely involve physical therapy and other non-invasive methods to restore functionality of your shoulder joint.
- It is crucial for your recovery to know what is causing the pain in your shoulder. Your shoulder pain specialist will make an accurate diagnosis as the first step in helping you avoid surgery.
- You can apply home remedies to aid in your pain relief to maximize your healing process.
- Your pain doctor in NY or pain doctor in NJ will discuss a combination of non-surgical options that fit your condition and lifestyle.
- Surgery is an option only after other less invasive methods have been tried.