When to Seek Shoulder Injury Treatment From a Specialist in NYC

Brandon J. Erickson, MD March 19th, 2019

How Orthopaedic Specialists Address Shoulder Injuries

Usually, if you stub your toe, the pain lingers for a few minutes then subsides. No cause for concern, right? This may happen in any area of your body: you feel unusual discomfort but it goes away on its own. Reoccurring, prolonged, or severe pain, however, deserves your full attention. This is an indication that something is off in your body.

People sometimes have a hard time determining when to see a doctor for pain. If you believe you may have a shoulder injury, treatment in NYC is available at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. In this blog, we’ll explain common issues that our shoulder specialists see in patients and when specifically you should schedule a visit.

Five Shoulder Injuries You May Be at Risk of Developing

Certain athletes, such as baseball and softball players, are more prone to developing shoulder injuries. Nevertheless, anyone can become injured due to a combination of factors. Below are five common injuries associated with shoulder joint pain and how they form.

  1. Shoulder Instability
    Your shoulders have the greatest range of motion out of all of your joints. This means that if the ligaments and muscles are for some reason unable to support the humeral head (or “ball” of the ball-and-socket joint), the shoulder becomes unstable. Shoulder instability can occur after a traumatic event, such as a sports collision, or from overusing this joint.

  2. Rotator Cuff Injury
    As you may already know, this is an incredibly common injury, especially in older athletes. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons located on the upper end of the arm. Tendonitis may impact the rotator cuff due to repetitive activity (discussed more below). Similarly, a rotator cuff tear forms when there is increased pressure or an already existing injury on one of the rotator cuff tendons.

  3. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
    With this condition, a patient’s rotator cuff tendons become compressed between the head of the humerus bone and part of the shoulder blade. The acromion, or the upper part of the shoulder, rubs against the tendons and can cause irritation and inflammation. This can eventually result in a tear.

  4. Bursitis
    Bursitis is defined as the inflammation of the fluid sac between the tendon and acromion bone. This is another overuse injury that usually results from repetitive overhead activity. It may occur at the same time as shoulder impingement.

  5. Biceps Tendon Rupture
    Your biceps is located in the front of your upper arm and attaches to your shoulder and elbow. Biceps tendon tears do not occur very often. They typically take place with a sudden injury, such as lifting a heavy object and creating intense strain. Ruptures may be either partial (damaging the soft tissue but not much of the tendon) or complete (causing the complete detachment of the tendon).

Three Signs You Need Treatment for a Shoulder Injury in NYC

If any of the following circumstances apply to you, it may be time to visit an orthopaedic shoulder specialist in NYC for an evaluation.

  • Your symptoms are worsening.
    While this may be obvious, some patients (particularly athletes) are tempted to move through the pain until it is unbearable. Do not wait until you reach this point! Schedule an appointment with a shoulder specialist at the first sign that something isn’t right.

  • Your symptoms are not improving despite home remedies.
    Sometimes, the R.I.C.E. protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is enough to alleviate pain and inflammation. However, if this does not help after a few days, your shoulder may require more specialized treatment.

  • Your condition is interfering with your quality of life.
    Perhaps your shoulder pain is manageable—as in, periods of rest and strengthening exercises make you feel somewhat better. But are you still having difficulty performing around-the-house tasks, such as reaching shelves? Do you want to throw a ball or exercise your arms but fear your injury will become more damaging? Ask your doctor about other shoulder treatment options.

To learn more or schedule an appointment for shoulder injury treatment in NYC, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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