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Published on July 10, 2017

The Ins and Outs of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

Do’s and Don’ts for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can often be caused by trying to lift an object while the shoulder is in a weak or compromised position. A good rule of thumb to use is if your head is in a neutral position, looking straight ahead, keep your hands in your field of view while you perform an activity or exercise. It’s when you reach for something behind you in your back seat or pull things down behind your head that your shoulder is more likely to get hurt.

If you are experiencing pain, initial treatment could include taking anti-inflammatories and practicing small muscle exercises that strengthen the shoulder. For example, using light weights or a resistance band, repeat external rotations of the shoulder. Most importantly, listen to your body! If the exercise you’re doing hurts a lot, you probably shouldn’t do it.

Dr. Joshua Landau, an orthopedic surgeon at Murphy Wainer Orthopedic Specialists, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about the do's and don'ts of shoulder pain.

Treating Shoulder Pain Without Surgery

Fortunately, the majority of shoulder injuries can be treated successfully without surgery. The most important step toward treating a shoulder issue or injury properly is determining what caused the pain.

A sports medicine specialist will be able to:

  • Evaluate where the pain is coming from and determine what type of injury has occurred.
  • Offer proper exercise education and prescribe physical therapy
  • Administer steroid (cortisone) injections to further reduce inflammation, and even cure the condition. The injection is similar to that of a flu shot, and can be done in the provider’s office.

At Cone Health Primary Care at MedCenter Kernersville, sports medicine specialists use an in-office ultrasound when administering cortisone injections to make sure the medicine gets delivered to the right place. The ultrasounds allow the physicians and patients to see the joint in motion, without radiation, and can be used on patients that cannot have an MRI.

At MedCenter Kernersville, another alternative treatment option offered for patients with tendonitis is nitroglycerin patches. Nitroglycerin makes blood vessels bigger, causing more blood to flow to the area, making it heal faster.

Dr. Evan Corey, a sports medicine specialist at Cone Health Primary Care at MedCenter Kernersville, spoke on Fox 8 House Call treating shoulder pain without surgery.

Surgical Solutions for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is extremely common and a frequent reason Americans visit doctor’s offices each year. Common shoulder injuries and conditions that may require surgical intervention if conservative treatment fails, include:

  • dislocations
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • rotator cuff tears
  • arthritis

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain and disability. With minimally invasive arthroscopy techniques, orthopedic surgeons are able to reattach the tendon to the bone, with the goal of restoring strength and function to the shoulder.

Severe arthritis, in the shoulder, in which the cartilage in the joint deteriorates, can lead to the need for shoulder replacement surgery. Fortunately, due to the advancements in shoulder replacement surgery, surgeons are able to relieve patients’ pain, remove bone spurs and restore their function.

Dr. Timothy Murphy, an orthopedic surgeon at Murphy/Wainer Orthopedic Specialists, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about the surgical treatment options available to treat shoulder pain.

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Cone Health experts appear Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 a.m. on the Fox 8 morning news.