You can prevent a strained or sprained shoulder with a few simple tips. Stretch and strengthen your shoulder muscles. Wear proper footwear. Take care while doing certain shoulder-intensive activities. These tips reduce the strain on shoulder ligaments, tendons and muscles. But if you still experience a shoulder sprain or strain, don’t wait to see the best pain management doctors in Manhattan at NYC Pain Management. Get back to your normal routines quickly with the right diagnosis and proper treatment.
Without use of your shoulder joint, one of the most mobile joints in your body, your quality of life suffers. The shoulder is the joint that allows your arm to move in many different ways. Made up of your shoulder blade, collarbone and upper arm bone, the shoulder joint is surrounded and supported by various ligaments, muscles and tendons.
Ligaments connect bone to bone, and tendons connect muscle to bone. Muscles, by contracting and relaxing, move the bone and allow to perform all kinds of everyday tasks. Four important muscles bind the arm bone to your shoulder blade and protect the joint, creating the rotator cuff.
You can hurt your rotator cuff or even tear it. At the first sign of pain in your shoulder, call the nationally recognized physicians at pain management clinic NYC for an accurate diagnosis and interventional treatment.
The Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain
Even though a shoulder sprain or strain is considered a musculoskeletal injury, a shoulder strain or sprain deals more with injury to ligaments, tendons and muscles rather than with a bone. A sprain is an injury that stretches or tears a ligament, which stabilizes the joint. A strain, on the other hand, twists, pulls or tears tendons or muscles.
Sprains are usually injuries that affect a joint, causing a rupture of the supporting ligaments. This can occur due to a fall, twist or blow to your body. Sprains are characterized by severity:
- The ligament is stretched, but the joint remains stable.
- A ligament is partially torn, making the joint unstable.
- The ligament is completely torn or separated from the bone.
All three create increasing levels of pain and decreasing levels of flexibility. Strains occur due to overuse of muscles and tendons. Strains can be acute from a sudden stretching of a muscle or tendon, or chronic, which may be caused by:
- Repetitive motion over time
- Muscle fatigue
- Inadequate rest during intensive training
Risk Factors for a Shoulder Strain or Sprain
Anyone can suffer a sprained or strained shoulder. Any sport, exercise or activity can lead to a strained or sprained shoulder, given the right circumstances, which include:
- Lack of conditioning
- Improper technique
- Weak muscles, tendons or ligaments
- Repetitive motions with too little rest between activities
Sports injuries are common because of the demand athletes put on their bodies, but a strain or sprain is more likely due to overuse and high intensity rather than lack of conditioning. A conditioned athlete with proper technique is actually better suited for high-level activity because of the strong muscle support.
Symptoms that Require Strained Shoulder Blade Treatment
Most shoulder sprains and muscle strains in the shoulder have similar symptoms. The pain management doctor in New York looks for signs of inflammation, pain, swelling, heat and redness that are common to both injuries.
A shoulder sprain might have particular symptoms, such as:
- An inability to move your arm
- The sensation of a pop or tear
Shoulder strain may cause you to feel specific symptoms, such as:
- Muscle spasms
See your pain management specialist immediately if you experience a severe shoulder injury or have symptoms of a strained shoulder blade that include:
- Numbness anywhere in your shoulder area
- Pain directly over a bone
- Inability to move or lift your arm
Diagnosing Your Specific Shoulder Pain
A thorough history of the event or activity tells your pain specialist in New York what type of injury you’ve suffered. Your description of the location, severity and type of pain tells him other things as well, including:
- Whether it’s a shoulder sprain or strained shoulder
- If it’s mild, moderate or severe
- What further testing is required
- What treatment approach to start
The top shoulder pain specialists in Midtown may take blood samples, order x-rays or suggest an MRI. X-rays show whether there’s a fracture, while an MRI shows the extent of the injury of a shoulder strain or sprain. After confirming a diagnosis, your doctor addresses pain level.
Treatment for a Sprained or Strained Shoulder
Most shoulder strains and sprains can be treated conservatively at home — as long as they’re mild. After your pain doctor sends you home with a diagnosis of a mild shoulder sprain or muscle strain in the shoulder, try some shoulder treatments that employ the R.I.C.E. method, including:
- Rest, which means avoiding any activity that causes pain, but not all activity
- Ice immediately and for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours
- Compression with a not-too-tight elastic bandage, staying vigilant for any numbness or increase in pain
- Elevation at night when resting
- Over-the-counter medications
If your diagnosis is moderate or severe, your NYC pain management doctor may suggest:
- Shoulder injections to reduce pain and inflammation
- Prescription pain medications
- Physical therapy
- Nerve block injections so you can participate fully in physical therapy
Emergency appointments are available at the top-rated injury clinic in Manhattan. Don’t let a shoulder sprain or strain turn into something worse. Contact Pain Management NYC for an appointment as soon as you hurt your shoulder.
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.