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Shoulder Pain

What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is discomfort, aching, or stiffness that affects one or both shoulders –– the joints that connect your arms to your torso.

Each of your shoulders contains bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These tissues move together, allowing you to use hand tools and complete routine tasks. Trauma, illness, or general wear-and-tear can affect the health or function of your shoulder joints. If you have persistent shoulder pain, contact Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans.

What causes shoulder pain?

The Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans team treats shoulder pain caused by various things, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Torn cartilage
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Swollen bursa sacs (bursitis) or tendons (tendonitis)
  • Bone spurs
  • A pinched nerve in the neck or shoulder
  • Frozen shoulder

You may experience shoulder pain if you break one or more of the bones in your shoulder or dislocate your shoulder joint.

Should I see an orthopedic specialist about shoulder pain?

Make an appointment at Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans if your shoulder pain lasts a week or more and doesn’t improve with ice, rest, or activity modification. That’s particularly true if the pain keeps you from sleeping or interferes with your ability to work.

How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

Your Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans provider reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including if the pain occurs in one shoulder or both, if you can pinpoint the source, and if the pain is sharp or dull.

Next, they complete a physical exam. Your provider checks your shoulder for bruising, redness, or swelling. They then test your shoulder’s strength, flexibility, and range of motion and have you do a series of easy exercises. 

Your provider also orders X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to closely examine your shoulder joint and surrounding tissues. Imaging procedures can identify broken bones, bone spurs, or torn cartilage.

How is shoulder pain treated?

Shoulder pain treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of your symptoms. The Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans team may recommend:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Immobilizing your shoulder with a sling or a splint
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Massage therapy Ice and heat therapy

If your shoulder pain continues or worsens, you might benefit from surgery. The team offers both minimally invasive and traditional open shoulder surgery.

Call Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans at (504) 899-6391 today to receive treatment for shoulder pain.