There are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing shoulder pain, and an orthopedic physician will be able to determine the cause of your pain as well as recommend ways to effectively and efficiently treat it.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Common causes of shoulder pain include:
- Arthritis, osteoporosis, and other chronic, degenerative conditions that affect bones and joints
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Sprains and strains from sudden or severe movements
When to see a doctor about your shoulder pain depends on how long you’ve been experiencing the pain, its severity, and whether an accident was involved. Let’s take a look at why these factors matter.
How Long Have You Been Experiencing Pain?
Sometimes, the activities we take partake in can cause some muscle soreness or body aches. Perhaps you went to a few radical theme-park rides or kicked up the intensity of your usual gym routine. Maybe you recently moved some heavy boxes around the house or carried a heavy bag around while shopping.
If your shoulder pain developed in the past day or two, you may have strained your muscles. If this is the case, you may want to give it a few days to see if it goes away on its own. However, if the pain is persistent and not resolved after a few more days, it’s probably time to see an orthopedic doctor.
Persistent pain in the shoulder could be a sign of an injury or underlying condition that needs treatment from a doctor.
How Severe is the Pain?
Consider the extent of the pain you are experiencing in the shoulder. Is the pain bad enough that it keeps you distracted and uncomfortable? Does the pain only go away temporarily after taking over-the-counter pain relievers? Is the pain keeping you away from your regular activities and affecting your lifestyle?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s time to see an orthopedic doctor about your shoulder pain.
Pain is a sign that you should listen to – it indicates that something is wrong. While it’s normal to feel aches and pains every now and then, persistent or severe pain are signs that something significant is wrong and needs medical treatment.
Were You a Part of an Accident or Fall?
If you are experiencing shoulder pain after being involved in an accident or a fall at work, while playing sports, traveling in a car, or at the gym, you should see an orthopedic doctor immediately.
Shoulder pain after an accident is often a sign of an internal injury. There is a chance it may just be inflammation that will go away in a few days, but ignoring injuries after accidents can make them worse, leading to the need for more intense treatments and a longer recovery time.
If your shoulder pain is caused by an injury from an accident, consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible, regardless of whether the pain is mild or severe.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain for any reason, seeing an orthopedic physician will help treat the underlying cause so you can go back to enjoying your life. Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder has board-certified orthopedic physicians who are experts in diagnosing and treating shoulder conditions and injuries that cause pain. Call (410) 296-6232 to make an appointment today. You can also use the convenient request an appointment form.