Shoulder Pain Management in Buford
The shoulders comprise some of the body’s most flexible joints, with a wide range of motion and agility. Shoulders are often an overlooked area of care until they remind the body that they need attention, often in the form of pains, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.
Whether these conditions result in limitations to activities, constant dull pain, or bouts of sharp pain, shoulders are ultimately delicate body parts that still need proper care and attention to function.
Shoulder problems are extremely common in adults. Uncomfortable shoulder pain affects anywhere between 18%-26% of adults at any given time.
Sometimes, our lifestyle habits can cause shoulder pain, and in other cases, it’s a result of repetitive strain, genetics, or injury. With age, conditions like arthritis may reduce mobility in the shoulders, as well.
At Optimum Health Rehabilitation Center, you’ll find comprehensive care for your shoulder pain. The licensed chiropractors, physical therapists, and pain treatment experts at Optimum are equipped to tackle the root of your pain and help you find long-term relief.
When to See a Doctor for Shoulder Pain?
The shoulder is a complex mechanism made up of three bones; the scapula (shoulder blade), the clavicle (collarbone), and the humerus (upper arm bone). The two main joints, the acromioclavicular joint, and the glenohumeral joint connect all the pieces.
Shoulder muscles are skeletal muscles, which are one of the three types of significant muscles in the human body. The four shoulder muscles make up the rotator cuff which is what gives the shoulder its unbeatable levels of mobility.
Shoulder pain, while often distressing, doesn’t typically require emergency medical attention. If the pain is ongoing and inhibits you from doing daily activities, the first step is to consult with your primary care physician during your next visit to put together a course of action.
Your doctor will want to know more about the type of pain you’re feeling (aching, shooting, etc.), how long you’ve been experiencing it, and any accompanying symptoms.
In some instances, you may need more immediate medical attention to resolve your shoulder pain.
If your shoulder pain is due to a new injury, accompanied by weakness or fever, persists when you aren’t using your arm, or if you are unable to move it within your normal range of motion, you should seek same-day medical attention.
Emergency care is necessary when there is a deformity to the arm, sudden or ongoing swelling, you’ve lost feeling in your arm, fingers, or hand, or if the pain is intolerably excruciating. Sudden shoulder pain can also be a symptom of a stroke or heart attack.
A stroke or heart attack would be accompanied by other symptoms such as a loss of senses, difficulty speaking or understanding language, visual problems, and heightened anxiety.
What Treatments Does a Buford Shoulder Pain Specialist Offer?
To treat shoulder pain at home, you are mostly limited to topical treatments and making conscious lifestyle choices. A cold compress is best for injury-related pain, whereas a heating pad can soothe aching or shooting pain if there is no swelling.
Over-the-counter creams and patches can have a positive temporary effect, which may give you the motivation to try other home remedies like certain stretches and exercises.
Getting the muscles moving and stretching your tendons out can be a productive approach that targets rebuilding the strength of the affected area and effectively promotes repairing a strong range of mobility.
Keeping active and complementing that lifestyle with foods that target joint health and inflammation — such as nuts, olive oil, root/cruciferous vegetables, and berries — can significantly decrease shoulder pain as well.
Even with a large list of causes for shoulder pain, many of the most commonly faced conditions respond to similar treatments. Treating shoulder pain won’t look the same for everyone, but the following methods have been proven effective for a wide range of patients.
Generally, one of the first approaches to soothing shoulder pain is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen, which target inflammation in the joints.
For more intense pain, your doctor could recommend a higher dose or to try a different medication, such as muscle relaxers. This approach may satisfy the symptoms of your pain but will rarely address the root cause.
It can also leave you reliant on the medication indefinitely. You can also use pain medication to supplement other shoulder pain treatments like lifestyle changes and physical therapy.
Corticosteroid injections are a popular treatment method for their rapid effect on joint inflammation. It is said that patients may feel a flare in pain up to 48 hours after the injections but that it should noticeably decrease after the post-injection period.
Another option is regenerative therapy using platelet-rich placenta (PRP) injections that utilize your own placenta and encourage your body’s natural healing process.
This type of injection therapy is recommended for people suffering from tendon injuries and ligament damage, but can also be a way to reduce symptoms of discomfort for chronic conditions like osteoarthritis.
Most chiropractic techniques target the spine and back, but they can help adjust the complex array of bones in the shoulder safely while coupling these corrections with exercises focused on strengthening and restoring flexibility.
Many of the most common causes of shoulder pain, including avascular necrosis, frozen shoulder, and tendinitis, can be treated with physical therapy.
A licensed chiropractic specialist can make manual adjustments to the spine and extremities to provide long-term relief for ongoing discomfort. For shoulder pain, re-alignment and massage therapy can be productive in treating the agonizing sensations.
What Is Causing My Shoulder Pain?
To treat any type of pain, it is imperative to understand what is causing it upfront. In many cases, shoulder pain can feel impossible to conquer, usually because the treatment is focusing on the symptoms and isn’t attacking the root cause of said symptoms.
You may be experiencing shoulder pain for a wide variety of reasons, but there are some common explanations that affect a significant amount of people each year:
- Shoulder impingement syndrome: Also known as “swimmers shoulder”, this type of injury is a very common cause of shoulder pain. Shoulder impingement syndrome happens when a tendon rubs up against the edge of your shoulder blade, known as the acromion, and pinches the rotator cuff that sits below. This is especially common in swimmers because of the repeated motion, which leaves the shoulders susceptible to this injury.
- Avascular necrosis: This is when bone tissue ultimately fails from a lack of blood supply, leading to tiny breaks in the bone that eventually cause it to collapse. Anyone can be affected, but the condition is associated with long-term use of high-dose steroids and alcohol. Most people who develop this condition are adults between the ages of 30-50.
- Tendonitis: Tendons are thick, fibrous cords that almost act as bridges, connecting muscles with bones. Tendinitis is the inflammation of these connectors, causing pain around the outside of the joint. It can happen to any tendon but is especially common in the shoulders, knees, and wrists.
- Torn rotator cuff: A rotator cuff injury is extremely common, especially in adults over 35. This type of damage often occurs as a result of a sports injury or from an injury that occurs as a result of heavy lifting or pulling. The rotator “cuff” is made from the joining tendons of four separate muscles, aiding in mobility. This area is a prime site for microtears or sudden injury, frequently manifesting in the form of throbbing pain and difficulty raising the arm above the shoulder.
- Frozen shoulder: This is described as stiffness caused by keeping the shoulder joint immobile for long periods of time. Also referred to as adhesive capsulitis, this condition usually starts off as a dull pain and worsens gradually. Thankfully, a frozen shoulder is known to be just as reversible with mobilization exercises and physical therapy.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome: The thoracic outlet begins in the lower part of the clavicle, extending to the upper arm region. TOS is a group of disorders that have the potential to happen when blood vessels in the thoracic region, from the collarbone to the first rib, are compressed. This can cause shoulder pain along with numbness in your fingers. TOS is common in car accident-related trauma patients, laborers in strenuous fields, athletes, and pregnant women.
- Arthritis: While there are many types of arthritis, the condition is simply described as the inflammation of joints. There is no cure for arthritis, there are treatment methods available to limit pain and preserve joint health. Along with pain and limited range of motion, someone experiencing shoulder pain from arthritis may hear a clicking or grinding sound when they move the affected joint(s).
- Breaks, fractures, and shoulder dislocation: These injuries require immediate medical intervention and are generally caused by an impact of some kind. The longer a patient waits to treat this kind of injury, the more likely they are to develop further conditions like posttraumatic arthritis.
Get Comprehensive Care From Specialists at Optimum Health
At Optimum Health Rehab in Buford, we offer care to many types of patients, including injury victims and those suffering from chronic conditions like arthritis.
Our facility is equipped with resources, including Buford shoulder pain specialists and physical/regenerative therapy options to treat many causes of shoulder pain. A trusted member of our team is standing by to help you.
A skilled chiropractor from Optimum will work with you to personalize a course of action that targets, relieves, and prevents pain in your shoulders. Our staff is committed to providing aid to each patient that we see and is dedicated to their long-term wellness.