Shoulder & Arm Pain

Shoulder & Arm Pain

Are you experiencing discomfort in your shoulder and arm? You’re not alone. Shoulder and arm pain can be quite common and can significantly impact your daily life. The joints in our shoulders are very vulnerable to damage that can lead to significant pain and stiffness. The CDC says that around one in ten adults will experience some sort of shoulder or arm pain in any given thirty days. At RelievUS, we’re dedicated to providing you with the information you need to understand the causes, symptoms, and effective relief options for shoulder and arm pain.

Request an appointment with our pain management doctors today to get pain relief so you can live with less pain.

Common Causes of Shoulder and Arm Pain:

  • Rotator Cuff Injuries: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Injuries to the rotator cuff, such as tears or strains, can lead to pain in the shoulder and upper arm. These injuries often result from repetitive motions or traumatic events.
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): Frozen shoulder is a condition where the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful. It typically develops gradually and can make it challenging to move your arm. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear, but it often occurs after periods of immobility or certain medical conditions.
  • Tendinitis and Bursitis: Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons, while bursitis is inflammation of the bursae (small sacs that reduce friction in joints). Both can cause shoulder and arm pain and are often linked to overuse or repetitive movements.
  • Nerve Compression: Conditions like thoracic outlet syndrome or cervical radiculopathy can compress nerves in the neck or upper spine, leading to pain that radiates down the arm. Numbness and tingling may also be present.

Symptoms of Shoulder and Arm Pain:

  • Dull, aching pain in the shoulder or upper arm
  • Sharp or stabbing pain during specific movements
  • Limited range of motion in the shoulder joint
  • Muscle weakness in the affected arm
  • Numbness or tingling that extends down the arm
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

Diagnosing Shoulder and Arm Pain

Methods for finding the cause of arm and shoulder pain are more advanced than ever. With a sound diagnosis, we can treat the root cause of your shoulder pain and help you regain your mobility. A diagnosis will include:

  • An analysis of your medical history. We’ll go over the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and discuss the possible causes of your pain.
  • A physical examination. We’ll look at issues like your pain triggers and levels, your ability to move your shoulder, and any other issues.
  • Diagnostic tests. Imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds can show us what is going on with the soft tissue of the shoulder and reveal any damage, fluid buildup or inflammation.

Shoulder and Arm Pain Treatment

After finding the source of your pain, we can create a treatment plan that will help you heal and get back to your regular activities. Treatments can include:

  • Rest of the affected shoulder: Avoiding activities like reaching or lifting for a period of time can give your body time to heal.
  • Medication: Medications like anti-inflammatories can curb pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: Therapy will start with a focus on restoring the normal motion of your shoulder. After that, we can focus on decreasing any tightness in the area and building strength in the muscles of the rotator cuff to prevent future injuries.
  • Steroid injections: These can help relieve inflammation and speed healing.

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