You never really know the value of certain muscles and joints until you can no longer use them comfortably. This is especially true for your shoulders. While shoulder pain can happen for numerous reasons and can vary in degree, it is important to know the difference between just being sore from overuse and something more serious requiring medical attention. How do you know if your pain is worth a trip to Dr. Nelson’s office? We’re breaking it down in today’s blog:

Specific Symptoms

  • Dislocation: If your shoulder has popped out of place, especially during a trauma, this would require immediate medical attention. Important ligaments could be torn that would compromise the stability of your shoulder. 
  • Popping/Clicking: Do you hear or feel a popping or clicking sensation? In certain cases, this could indicate a labral tear, which may require surgery to fix. Not all clicking or popping is the same, so it is important to get it properly evaluated. 
  • Abnormality: If your shoulder pain is accompanied by an unusual abnormality or deformation, it should be looked at. This unusual appearance can be the result of something out of place or a break.
  • Numbness: If you are experiencing arm numbness, arm/shoulder weakness, or paralysis, give Dr. Nelson a call. This can be a result of a muscle, tendon, or bone impinging on a nerve in the shoulder, swelling or inflammation around the nerve, or overuse of any of the surrounding tissue.

Better Understanding Your Pain

  • Lifting Test: Are you able to lift your arm relatively pain-free? If the pain is intolerable to the point where you cannot perform everyday tasks, it is time to see Dr. Nelson. It is possible that you could have a rotator cuff injury or tear, which most often requires surgery. 
  • Cause of pain: Is your pain a result of trauma from a sports injury, accident, or fall? You should always be evaluated after any trauma. The seemingly insignificant pain you have now could truly be something small, but when left untreated, can turn into something more serious. 
  • Track your pain: If your pain is not from trauma but seems to be from overuse or age, it is important to note any changes in the severity of pain or range of motion. If the pain is getting increasingly worse and you are unable to perform everyday tasks, you could be developing arthritis. Seeking medical help for diagnosis and treatment of arthritis can help slow the progression of the disease. 

If you simply aren’t sure, it doesn’t hurt to seek professional medical advice. Even if your pain is not serious now, it can lead to something more serious if you let the condition worsen. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, Dr. Nelson is here to help. A leader in orthopaedic and sports medicine, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Keith Nelson has extensive experience diagnosing and treating painful shoulder conditions such as rotator cuff tears and arthritis. 

Let Dr. Nelson treat your shoulder pain and help you get back to your action. Give us a call at 435-774-8511 to schedule an appointment.