Shoulder pain involves the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments (connect the bones together), or tendons (connect muscle to the bone) in the shoulder, collar bone, upper arm, and shoulder blade. Pain results from stress, injury, or disease, such as wear due to aging, overuse, or repetitive motions during sports or physical activity.
In addition to pain, symptoms of shoulder injury include stiffness, numbness, tingling, swelling, or inability to move or rotate the shoulder. Common causes of shoulder pain or injury include:
- Bursitis: painful inflammation in the shoulder caused by pressure or injury
- Cartilage injuries: damage to the tissue that covers the surface of the bone
- Cysts and tumors: sacs filled with air, fluid, or other substances (most are noncancerous, but they can be cancerous)
- Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis): immobility caused by scar tissue growth in the joints
- Infections: can occur in the bones or joints
- Nerve compression, damage, or shoulder impingement: compression of the bony or soft tissue structures
- Osteoarthritis: degenerative wear and tear on the shoulder joint
- Rheumatoid arthritis: chronic (ongoing) inflammatory joint disorder
- Rotator cuff tear: caused by damaged tendons
- Shoulder labral tear: damage to the cartilage cushion that lines the shoulder socket
- Tendonitis: inflammation due to strained or ruptured tendons, such as rotator cuff tendonitis
- Trauma: such as fractures, shoulder separation, or shoulder dislocation
- Tumors: abnormal tissue growth or swelling (can be cancerous or noncancerous)
If you’re having trouble using your arm due to shoulder pain, call an orthopaedic specialist at University of Miami Health System. We offer appointments as soon as possible — often the same day or within 24 hours.
Most mild shoulder pain and injuries resolve with home treatments, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE method).
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, to reduce swelling and pain.
Your doctor may recommend you undergo electrical stimulation therapy to help get relief from your injury.
You may need to work with a physical therapist to regain strength and use following an injury.
If your shoulder condition has not been responsive to other treatment options, you may need surgery, such as or shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement.
Your doctor will conduct a thorough exam and review your health history to diagnose this condition.
Your doctor may order an imaging test such as an X-ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a diagnosis.
Why Choose UHealth?
Orthopaedic trauma care you can count on. The trauma team manages orthopaedic trauma services at Jackson Memorial Hospital and UHealth Tower. Our team is made up of six surgeons who each have a subspecialty focus in orthopedic trauma. We treat everything from simple fractures that need a brace or cast to complex injuries that are best handled at a Level 1 or Level 2 trauma center.
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