Injury or Just Soreness? Knowing When Your Shoulder Pain Requires Medical Intervention

It’s tempting to chalk up sudden shoulder pain to your most recent weekend warrior exploits or to “sleeping funny.” Perhaps you swung your arm awkwardly during a golf game, carried the baby for too long, or got overzealous with gardening. At first, you might try to ignore the pain or to take over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve the distress. However, if the pain persists, it’s time to visit a physician.

Common Sources of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can occur from overuse, injury, or simply from the wear-and-tear of getting older. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include:  

Dr. Allen Deutsch, an orthopedic surgeon, uses his expertise to successfully treat all types of shoulder pain with a variety of advanced techniques.

When to See a Physician for Shoulder Pain

You should see a doctor for treatment if:

The most appropriate specialists to see are orthopedists or orthopedic surgeons, both of whom specialize in muscular and skeletal problems. Orthopedic surgeons, such as Dr. Deutsch, though, have the added ability to perform surgical procedures should they be warranted.

What to Expect at Your Visit to the Orthopedist or Orthopedic Surgeon

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Deutsch understands that a shoulder injury could be life-altering, whether you’re a busy mom or a die-hard crossfitter. And if you can’t understand the origins of a problem, finding a solution that lasts is unlikely.

To start, Dr. Deutsch will ask you to share the history of your injury to determine the nature of your problem. Expect to answer questions about when and how your shoulder pain started, what you’ve done to relieve it up until the point of your visit, and what your current pain level is. He will also perform a series of shoulder specific range-of-motion tests to see how your shoulder behaves.

From there, he will decide if you need diagnostic imaging tests such as an MRI or an in office dynamic ultrasound in order to gain a clearer picture - literally - of what is going on. This all-important information will allow him to make a spot-on diagnosis and formulate a customized treatment plan that eliminates your shoulder discomfort and most importantly, puts you on the path to recovery.

Your first thought upon entering our office might be, I really don’t want shoulder surgery. Rest assured that there is a diverse range of non-invasive interventions Dr. Deutsch will initially take to support your healing. These include:

If he does determine that surgery is your best option, as it often is for people who are very active and use their arms for overhead work or sports, his solution will be the farthest thing from “cookie cutter;” it will be based precisely on your condition and your individual needs.

Dr. Deutsch and You: Partners in Shoulder Care

Any good patient-physician relationship is built on clear and open communication, and all of us at Bellaire Orthopedics are devoted to ensuring that every interaction you have with us exceeds your expectations.

Dr. Deutsch will partner with you to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs while offering the most advanced, progressive care available.

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain that just won’t go away, don’t wait too long to get relief. Contact us at Bellaire Orthopedics to schedule an appointment with Dr. Deutsch and begin your transformation from “pain-full” to pain-free.

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