Shoulder pain can seem like no big deal. And if it crops up only mildly and occasionally, it probably isn’t. But if you let shoulder pain go untreated, those mild issues can progress from a painful inconvenience into a full-blown injury that renders your shoulder, or entire arm, useless.
Ignoring shoulder pain can also lead to avoidable complications and detract from your overall quality of life.
At LA Orthopaedic Specialists in downtown Los Angeles, California, we can help you recover from shoulder pain, no matter the cause.
Our team of doctors provide both conservative and surgical approaches for treating shoulder pain and customize your treatment to achieve the best possible outcome. Read on to learn about the leading causes of shoulder pain and when you should consider coming into our office.
Main causes of shoulder pain
There are three main types of shoulder pain, which a variety of factors can fuel and exacerbate. These causes include:
- Traumatic injuries
- Repetitive strain
A traumatic injury can happen when you’re playing sports or carrying a heavy object, or during a fall or car accident. Both the injury and the pain occur rather suddenly.
Shoulder pain of the wear-and-tear variety develops over time, over a course of weeks, months, or even years. Pain flares up as the cartilage protecting your shoulder bones deteriorates.
Shoulder pain from repetitive strain happens when similar motions over and over cause microtears to accumulate over time. Both wear-and-tear and repetitive motion injuries can cause chronic shoulder pain.
Common conditions that can cause or worsen these types of shoulder pain include:
- Labral tear
- Frozen shoulder
- Rotator cuff tear
- Pulled muscles
- Shoulder separation
- Strains and sprains
- Subluxation (partial dislocation)
When to see a specialist for shoulder pain
If you experience severe or long-lasting shoulder pain, don’t ignore it. If you continue to use an injured shoulder, you can experience complications, such as progressive weakness, lost range of motion, additional injuries, or shoulder instability that make even simple tasks, such as cooking or getting dressed, impossible.
A physician who specializes in shoulder conditions, such as the members of our team at LA Orthopaedic Specialists, can help you with most any type of shoulder pain and determine your best possible treatment.
Shoulder pain treatment
Your ideal treatment for minimizing shoulder pain varies, depending on factors such as the cause, the severity, and your overall health needs. We typically start out with the most conservative treatments possible, such as rest and physical therapy.
You may also benefit from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or steroid injections. When less invasive treatments fail to suffice, we may recommend surgery. When possible, we use arthroscopic techniques, which are gentler than conventional surgery and bring about a quicker recovery.
To learn more about shoulder pain or get started with appropriate treatment, call us today or book an appointment through our website.