Shoulder Pain

Orthopaedic Specialists

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in the greater Nashville, Tennessee Area

If you suffer from shoulder pain, you’re not alone. It’s a common condition that can make going about your daily life challenging. Shoulder pain has a number of causes, but there are a variety of treatments available to help you manage pain and get back to enjoying life. Turn to Brandon Downs, MD, and the team at Orthopaedic Specialists in Nashville, Dickson, Ashland City, Kingston Springs, Centerville and Gallatin, Tennessee, for effective shoulder pain care. Book an appointment online or on the phone to get started today.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes shoulder pain?

Your shoulders are the most mobile joints in your body, and because of this, they are particularly susceptible to injury. Shoulder pain can be caused by problems with bones, muscles, tendons, or a combination of factors.

Top causes of shoulder pain are:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Muscle strains
  • Bursitis
  • Fractures

Shoulder pain can affect your ability to lift and hold things. Pain may be localized in the shoulder, but it can also spread to the arm or neck.

When should I see a doctor for shoulder pain?

Most acute cases of shoulder pain go away on their own within a few days. Pain that lasts longer than a week or interferes with your daily life could indicate a more serious condition.

Chronic shoulder pain could be a sign of arthritis or other joint conditions. If you experience chronic pain or you’ve suffered a shoulder injury, you should see the doctor.

Signs that you need professional medical care for your shoulder pain include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Inability to move your arm
  • Changes in the way the joint looks

Sometimes, shoulder pain accompanied by trouble breathing or chest tightness can be a sign of heart attack. If you suspect a heart attack, call 911 or seek immediate medical care.

How is shoulder pain treated?

Taking self-care steps at home can relieve most types of shoulder pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen or NSAIDs, can help manage acute pain. Resting your shoulder and applying an ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time can reduce swelling. 

Physical therapy can help treat shoulder conditions like mild arthritis, small rotator cuff tears, bursitis, or frozen shoulder. Steroid and medication injections can also be a part of your pain management strategy.

In some cases, shoulder replacement is the best option to relieve chronic pain. People with severe arthritis or who have suffered joint destruction from an accident may benefit from shoulder replacement with an artificial joint to treat pain and restore mobility.

You don’t have to suffer from chronic shoulder pain. Let Dr. Downs and his team at Orthopaedic Specialists help. Call the location nearest you or request an appointment online today.