Find out why your shoulder may be bugging you and what you can do about it.
From chronic musculoskeletal disorders to sports-related injuries, there are many scenarios that could end up seriously impacting the health of your shoulder. If you’ve been noticing pain, stiffness, weakness, or limited range of motion in your shoulder, then it might be time to turn to our Virgin Islands orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Chase, to find out what’s going on!
What’s causing my shoulder pain?
There are many conditions, injuries, and illnesses that can affect your shoulder. Some common injuries include,
- Fractured bone
- Rotator cuff tear
- Joint tears in the shoulder
- Frozen shoulder (the result of scar tissue or adhesions)
You may also experience persistent shoulder pain due to certain conditions such as,
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Referred pain (problems with other organs can lead to shoulder pain)
How do I know that I have a shoulder injury?
Here are some of the warning signs that you may be dealing with a shoulder injury,
- Sudden pain or stiffness that makes normal shoulder movement difficult
- Feeling as if the shoulder may pop or fall out of its socket
- Sudden weakness that makes it difficult to complete normal tasks
While some shoulders can be treated with simple at-home care like rest and ice, if you find that your symptoms are severe or not responding to at-home care, then it’s time to turn to our orthopedist in the Virgin Islands for an evaluation. You should visit us right away if,
- The pain is severe
- You can’t use your shoulder
- You experience sudden swelling
- You experience weakness or numbness in the arm or hand
- There is a visible deformity in the shoulder
When it comes to treating your shoulder symptoms, we will first need to figure out what is going on. Dislocations, fractures, and separations will often need to be put back in place with the help of your doctor. Then you’ll wear a sling to help stabilize the shoulder and arm.
Most patients will heal within a few weeks with the proper rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, if symptoms are severe and/or not improving, your doctor will discuss other treatment options such as steroid injections, which can temporarily alleviate severe pain and swelling. Physical therapy and certain stretching/strengthening exercises can rehab the shoulder and improve functionality and range of motion.
Severe tears that don’t heal properly may require surgery in order to repair the torn ligament/muscle/tendon. This is something our orthopedic surgeon can discuss with you during your evaluation.
Give us a call!
Don’t let shoulder pain affect your life. If you want to find out what’s going on and how to treat it, call Virgin Islands Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists today. With offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix, we make it easy for our patients to get the orthopedic care they deserve!