OrthoVirginia Blog

Shoulder Pain

Dr. Weingold practices in our Alexandria, Burke and Springfield offices.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and as a result allows us to do many athletic activities at a high level, but sometimes repeated use can create problems.

Shoulder disorders can be due to overuse, injury related, or degenerative. Shoulder pain can be due to issues with the bone or cartilage that protects the bone; or problems with the soft tissues including the ligaments that stabilize the shoulder, or the muscles and tendons that provide strength and stability. The rotator cuff muscles become tendons that can be overworked or irritated by bone spurs, which lead to tendonitis, bursitis, pain and weakness. This can be managed with rest, NSAIDs, physical therapy and occasionally a cortisone injection.

Surgery can be performed for persistent pain through minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, which is often needed if the rotator cuff becomes torn.

Shoulder instability relates to torn or loosened ligaments after dislocating your shoulder.

This can improve with periods of rest, a sling and physical therapy along with some adjustments in activities. Surgery is performed to reconstruct and tighten the ligaments for patients who don’t improve.

Some individuals who fall can sustain a broken bone (fracture) of the clavicle (collarbone) or separate it from the shoulder blade, or can fracture the humerus (arm). Once again, some of these injuries can be treated with rest, a sling and physical therapy and some require surgery to realign and stabilize the bone. Chronic pain and stiffness related to advanced arthritis of the shoulder can be treated with surgery called a joint replacement operation. Individuals who develop shoulder pain should visit their orthopedist to have an assessment that usually includes a physical examination and x-rays for starters.

For more information about Dr. Weingold read his bio on our website.