Shoulder pain comes in many forms. You can have right shoulder blade pain, left shoulder pain, neck pain with spreading shoulder discomfort or general pain around your shoulders that limits your mobility. The experienced doctors at Manhattan pain management, the best pain and injury doctors in New York, diagnose and provide appropriate shoulder pain treatment based on your specific need. Left untreated, sharp pain in the shoulder can lead to chronic conditions that can change your life. Call now for an appointment.
Shoulder pain can be insidious. Because the shoulder is made up of so many moving parts, all of which work in concert to allow you full range of motion, there are many ways to damage the area and end up with shoulder blade pain. And then there’s the issue of correctly diagnosing the source of your pain and coming up with the best treatment for shoulder pain specific to that source. The resolution isn’t always cut-and-dried because your discomfort may vary significantly from one moment to the next.
When it comes to neck and shoulder ache, you should rely on the best pain management doctors in Manhattan at pain management clinic in New York. They use the most advanced diagnostic equipment and rapid, accurate laboratory testing to confirm what’s causing your pain. The top pain specialists in NYC focus on delivering the latest in pain treatment options and a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation.
Your Shoulder and Shoulder Pain
Pain in the shoulder can come from too much activity, not enough movement, repetitive motions, underlying medical conditions or accidents. Shoulder pain usually begins in the bones, ligaments, muscles or supporting tissue that make up your shoulder.
The four bones in your shoulder are:
- Clavicle, also called the collarbone
- Humerus, the upper bone in your arms
- Scapula, or shoulder blade
- Acromion, a small bone on top of the joint, where the other three bones meet
You may have heard that sudden left shoulder pain may indicate you’re having a heart attack. In fact, the referred pain from a heart attack can also cause right shoulder pain. But you should treat any sudden, severe shoulder pain, back pain, or neck pain as an emergency.
The Most Common Shoulder Pain Causes
Most shoulder pain originates from common damage that may be caused by:
- Injuries. Shoulder ache treatment is often required following a car accident, sports injury or fall that causes damage to any of the structures within your shoulders. If you need emergency shoulder injury treatment in NYC, it’s available at our state-of-the-art clinic.
- Rotator cuff injuries. These are common in athletes and workers who continually raise their arms over their heads — such as carpenters, painters, swimmers, tennis and baseball players. Age also is a factor in rotator cuff injuries.
- Shoulder arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis, caused by wear-and-tear over time. It may be age-related or due to infection, work or sports injuries. The pain can be debilitating and severely restrict your mobility.
- Shoulder tendonitis. The strong cords that connect your bones to shoulder muscles are the tendons. They can become inflamed due to a tear or chronic overuse. Tendonitis most commonly appears in the rotator cuff.
- Shoulder bursitis. Fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between your bones are called bursae. They can become inflamed from overuse. Bursitis often accompanies rotator cuff tendonitis and can be so painful that even brushing your hair is challenging.
- Bicep tendonitis. The pain from a damaged tendon in your arm can radiate to the front of your shoulder. It may be caused by routine repetitive motions or osteoarthritis. Untreated, it can lead to chronic shoulder instability.
- Shoulder impingement. When you lift your arm, it puts pressure on the soft tissues there, like the tendons and bursae in the joint. Without proper shoulder joint pain treatment, this condition can lead to tendonitis and bursitis.
- Rotator cuff tear. Advancing age that weakens the tendons, overuse over a long period of time and sudden injuries can partially or completely tear this tendon in your shoulder.
- Frozen shoulder. You feel stiffness and pain that worsens over time with this condition. Also called adhesive capsulitis, it often occurs after a medical procedure or surgery that leaves your arm immobile. If you have right shoulder pain or left shoulder pain from the inactivity, it usually won’t return to the same arm, but can happen on the other side.
- Shoulder sprain or strain. Usually requiring shoulder muscle pain treatment, a strain or sprain often happens when you don’t warm up appropriately before exercising. The inflammation and pain also can occur if you use improper techniques while exercising, from overuse and through repetitive motions.
Shoulder Pain Treatment
Once you’ve received a firm shoulder pain diagnosis, your pain management doctor in New York first relies on conservative interventional treatments, such as rest, ice and behavior modifications.
If any discomfort continues, your pain in the shoulder may be treated with:
- Shoulder injections to reduce shoulder blade pain and inflammation
- Physical therapy to restore your shoulder and arms to full mobility
- Nerve block injections to provide pain relief so that you can participate in necessary physical therapy
- Pain medication that also allows you to function while your injury heals
- Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to repair tears and remove scar tissue
- PRP injections. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection can lead to significant pain reduction and healing, particularly for orthopedic conditions.
- Steroid injections
- Radiofrequency ablation to treat shoulder pain and inflammation in the shoulder. Its works by denervation of nerves of the shoulder joint. Its minimally invasive neurotomy technique can provide pain relief in patients with chronic shoulder pain.
- Trigger point injections. It’s a quick outpatient procedure that puts an injectable substance into a contracted muscle, causing it to relax and lengthen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know if My Shoulder Pain Is Serious?
Generally, you should seek a doctor’s assistance immediately if you are unable to move your shoulder or if you experience lasting bruising, heat, and tenderness around the joint. It is also recommended to schedule an appointment with a physician if you experience severe pain that persists beyond a few weeks of home treatment. Keep in mind that if your shoulder ache is sudden and severe, and is not related to a recent injury, you should call 911 immediately.
How Long Does Shoulder Pain Last?
It is not possible to give a definite answer to this question. The duration of pain in your shoulder depends on its cause. For instance, if you encounter a frozen shoulder, this condition tends to resolve itself in time but it may take up to three years. During this condition, you might experience severe pain and feel sudden muscle pain, especially at night. You should keep in mind that the earlier you start a shoulder pain NYC treatment, the less time it will take to get rid of the pain.
Why Do I Experience Shoulder Pain When Lifting My Arm?
If you experience pain in your shoulder when you lift your arm, it might be the case that you have shoulder impingement. It is a very common cause of shoulder pain where a tendon inside your shoulder catches or rubs on nearby tissues and bone as you lift your arm. As a result, it has an effect on the rotator cuff tendon, which is the rubbery tissue that connects the muscles around your shoulder joint to the top of your arm.
How Is Shoulder Pain Diagnosed?
Before starting any treatment, your pain management doctor will try to determine the cause of pain. You will be asked questions about your medical history and then a physical examination will be performed. Additionally, your doctor will assess your range of motion and joint stability. For the purpose of producing detailed pictures of your shoulder, a doctor will make use of an X-ray or MRI. These will assist in determining the diagnosis.
How to Prevent Shoulder Pain?
Our physicians recommend making use of simple shoulder exercises that are aimed at stretching and strengthening muscles and rotator cuff tendons. Ask a physical therapist to show you how to do them correctly. If you have already experienced shoulder issues, it is advised to use ice 15 minutes after exercising to prevent future injuries. It would be also a great idea to perform simple range-of-motion exercises on an everyday basis to keep you from getting a frozen shoulder.
Trust the team of pain doctors at Pain Management NYC to take care of your pain and get you back to your previous level of activity. To start the process, contact us to learn more and set up your first consultation in Manhattan, Bronx or Queens pain centers.
Leon Reyfman, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New York City and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Leon Reyfman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New York” and one of “America’s Top Doctors™” for advanced sports injury treatments. Among other accolades, he was voted by peers as a “Castle Connolly Top Doctors™” and “New York Super Doctors™”. Dr. Leon Reyfman was a part of the medical team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.