Shoulder pain can be dull or sharp, throbbing or stabbing, and intermittent or constant. It can have several possible causes. It could be a problem with your tendons, bones, bursae, rotator cuff, or joint that make it difficult to raise your arm and prevent you from sleeping soundly.
The shoulder has a wide range of motion and is used in almost all activities, which makes it susceptible to injury. A primary care doctor can treat shoulder pain, but for an in-depth examination of your shoulder, you want an orthopedic surgeon who has specialized knowledge and training in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems.
An orthopedic surgeon can take the guesswork out of identifying the cause of shoulder pain and put your mind at ease by providing you with an accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosing Shoulder Pain
An orthopedic doctor checks for the following symptoms to help make a diagnosis:
- Presence of a lump in the shoulder area
- Visible deformity
- Hearing a popping sound before the onset of symptoms
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Numbness or tingling
- Difficulty moving arm
- Pain worse at certain times of the day/night
- Pain with activity
- Pain while at rest
- Pain when raising arm
- Pain during behind the back motion
- A stiff neck
The doctor will also evaluate your medical history and lifestyle and will ask about any activity that may have caused the symptoms. After a review of your medical history and physically examining your shoulder, the doctor will order specific tests to identify the cause of the pain. Diagnostic imaging may include either an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
There are soft tissue injuries that may not come up in diagnostic imaging tests, in which case, the doctor can perform an arthroscopy, which is a minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure that gives access to your shoulder in order to identify (and possibly correct) the problem.
Self-examinations can only take you so far. Nothing can take the place of orthopedic care provided by a medical professional. Remember that you rely on your shoulder for so many things. Further damage to your shoulder due to lack of timely treatment can limit your ability to do chores, work, exercise, play sports, and more. Your shoulders deserve nothing less than expert treatment.
Orthopedic Doctor in Palm Beaches
The board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches bring together diagnosis and treatment in a single facility for the convenience of our patients. We treat patients with work injuries, sports injuries, and wear-and-tear conditions. Our on-site services include X-rays, MRI, PRP therapy, and physical therapy. We provide a personalized treatment plan for each patient and are committed to making every visit an excellent experience. To make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, call 561-733-5888 or use our convenient online request form.