What causes shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain is a common problem with a number of different causes. It is often a symptom of another problem. There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing shoulder pain, which include:
In some cases, pain in the shoulder isn't caused by a problem in the shoulder joint, but by a problem in another area, such as the neck, that is felt in the shoulder and upper back. There are also a number of medical conditions that can present with pain in the shoulder.
How do we treat shoulder pain at the Mansfield Clinic?
The most important thing is to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your pain, and Dr Allfree will make a careful and thorough assessment of your shoulder to try to determine the nature of the problem.
Once a diagnosis has been made, a number of different treatment strategies will be recommended by Dr Allfree, including one or more of the following:
Shoulder pain is a common problem with a number of different causes. Dr Allfree may be able to diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain by discussing your symptoms with you and examining your shoulder. In some cases, he may need to arrange some further tests such as X-rays or an MRI scan.
As well as asking exactly where the pain is, Dr Allfree will need to know whether:
Dr Allfree will carry out a thorough physical examination of your shoulder area. He will:
Dr Allfree will also ask you to do some specific arm movements – for example, placing your hands on the back of your neck and pointing your elbows out to the side. The type of movements that cause pain will help him to determine the underlying cause.
Further investigations are not usually necessary, but if you do need any imaging tests to examine your shoulder in more detail, Dr Allfree will be able to arrange these for you.
You may have a shoulder X-ray if the inside of your shoulder joint needs to be examined to rule out other damage. An X-ray uses radiation to detect problems with your bones such as osteoarthritis, or a fracture.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan uses strong magnetic fields to produce a detailed image of the inside of your body. An MRI scan is not just one picture, it is a series of cross-sectional “slices” through the joint, that gives a lot of information about the joint and the soft tissues surrounding it. MRI scans can be very helpful in making a diagnosis of the cause of the shoulder pain if it is not possible to make the diagnosis just by examining the joint.
A sample of your blood may be tested to rule out conditions that can cause shoulder pain or similar symptoms, such as:
There are things you can do yourself to treat shoulder pain, including using painkillers such as ibuprofen, or ice packs to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Avoiding activities that may aggravate your symptoms will also help.
Depending on the cause of your shoulder pain, Dr Allfree may suggest different treatment options. including: