The shoulder is the body's most flexible joint, allowing you the ability to reach above your head for something high, swing a tennis racket, or pick up a child. The ball and socket joint has three prominent bones: the humerus ( long arm bone), the clavicle ( collarbone), and the scapula ( shoulder blade). The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body. It moves the shoulder forward and backward. It also allows the arm to move in a circular motion and move up and away from the body. Swelling, damage, or bone changes around the rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain. In most cases, you may treat shoulder pain at home. However, physical therapy and surgery may also be necessary
Treatment options for shoulder pain include:
- Put ice on the shoulder area for 15 minutes, then leave it off for 15 minutes. Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day for 2 to 3 days. Wrap the ice in cloth; putting ice directly on the skin can result in frostbite.
- Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) may help reduce inflammation and pain
- Rest the shoulder for several days before returning to regular activity and avoid any movements that cause pain. Limit overhead work or activities.
- Steroid medication injected directly into the affected joint space, bursa, or area around an inflamed tendon may reduce inflammation and pain.
- Platelet- Rich- Plasma (PRP), and Stem - Cell Therapy, both of these emerging therapies, involve harvesting specific cells from your body, concentrating them, and injecting them directly into your shoulder joint, bursa, or tendon sheath.
It is essential to get the right treatment as soon as possible. Your nerves will heal, and symptoms will be relieved in most cases, but it is best to get a proper diagnosis. Sudden left shoulder pain can be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 if you experience sudden pressure or crushing pain in your shoulder, especially if the pain runs from your chest to the left jaw, arm, or neck, or occurs with shortness of breath, dizziness, or sweating. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, consult Dr. Ryan Colley, D.O., for an in-depth evaluation and personalized treatment recommendation.
Dr. Ryan Colley attended medical school at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Ohio University, studying all orthopedics fields, including trauma, joint replacement, sports medicine, pediatrics, and hand surgery. Dr. Colley focuses on all aspects of upper extremity joint replacement, reconstruction, trauma, and arthroscopy. He also performs robotic-assisted total knee replacement. Dr. Colley has authored several publications and book chapters. He takes a holistic approach to improve the quality of life for his patients. In his free time, Dr. Colley enjoys time with his wife and two children. They love to hike, fish, snowboard, and travel.