Shoulder Pain


 

SHOULDER PAIN

Q&A

Shoulder pain can cause significant problems, affecting your work and normal activities. The team at Spinetech, located in Beaumont, Conroe, Nederland, and Houston, Texas, can help diagnose and treat shoulder pain, which may be the result of a problem in your neck or spine. For an expert consultation and personalized treatment plan, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.

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What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain refers to pain associated with the topmost joint of your arm. The shoulder is actually a complex network of multiple joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. It allows for a full range of motion of your upper extremities when it’s functioning at its best.

Having acute or chronic shoulder pain could significantly affect your upper mobility and productivity.

There are several possible causes of shoulder pain, including:

  • Tendon or ligament injury
  • Rotator cuff rupture or injury
  • Tendonitis or arthritis
  • Fracture or joint damage
  • Dislocated shoulder joint

A common cause of shoulder pain is a pinched nerve in the neck, known as cervical radiculopathy. This can cause pain to extend down the length of the nerve, from the neck to the shoulder.

What is a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve is when something compresses a nerve, irritating and inflaming the nerve fiber. This is often caused by a bone spur on the vertebrae. A bone spur is a small abnormality in the structure of the bone caused by wear and tear, which places pressure on and irritates the nerve.

Cervical radiculopathy causes shoulder pain when the nerves that connect to the arm and shoulder are affected.

What are symptoms of a pinched nerve?

If your shoulder pain is due to a pinched nerve, you may experience:

  • Weakness of the shoulder
  • Burning in the shoulder or down the arm
  • Pain in the shoulder or arm
  • Tingling or numbness in shoulder, arm, and fingers

Your neurologist evaluates your shoulder pain by taking a thorough health history, performing a physical exam, and conducting diagnostic studies to determine if your pain is related to a pinched nerve.

How is a pinched nerve treated?

In most cases, shoulder pain related to a pinched nerve resolves on its own with rest and time to heal.

In some cases, further treatment is needed and may include:

  • Neck immobilization
  • Steroid injections
  • Oral steroids
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medications

When these nonsurgical approaches do not give you relief, a surgical procedure may be needed. The most common procedure to relieve a pinched nerve is called a cervical discectomy and spinal fusion. This helps relieve the pressure on the nerve causing pain.

If you’re having shoulder pain, call or book an appointment online with one of the Spinetech locations for an expert evaluation.

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