Shoulder Pain

  • Shoulder Pain

Important Facts About Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a complex joint. It is composed of 4 muscles, 2 tendons, 3 ligaments, and 3 bones. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, making it the least stable joint in the body. As a result, shoulder injuries and pain are a common occurrence. Surgery is not always the answer. There are many noninvasive treatments to try before considering surgery.

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Swollen Bursa

Each of your shoulders is a tiny, fluid-filled sac known as a bursa. Bursae help reduce friction between the bones in your joints. If the bursa in your shoulder becomes inflamed, it leads to a condition known as shoulder bursitis.  Causes can include injury, overuse, or medical conditions that cause joint inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Shoulder bursitis is also known as “subacromial bursitis.” It can be treated in a variety ways, both at home and in a doctor’s office.

Inflamed Shoulder Tendons

Shoulder bursitis and tendinitis are common causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. They indicate swelling (inflammation) of a particular area within the shoulder joint.  The shoulder joint is kept stable by a group of muscles called the rotator cuff as well as the biceps tendon. These muscles and tendons keep the upper arm bone (humerus) within the shoulder socket (glenoid). When the rotator cuff tendons or the biceps tendon become inflamed and irritated it is called rotator cuff tendinitis and bicipital tendinitis.

blood cell types

AC Joint Arthritis

The acromioclavicular (ah-kro-mee-o-klah-vik-u-ler) joint, also called the AC joint, is located at the top of the shoulder where the clavicle (collarbone) and highest part of the scapula (shoulder blade) meet. Most people are not familiar with this joint in the body, but arthritis in the AC joint is actually more common than arthritis in the glenohumeral joint, the shoulder’s large ball-and-socket joint.

AC Arthritis

Shoulder Dislocation

The head of the humerus is substantially larger than the glenoid fossa, shoulder dislocation is the most common type of joint dislocation. The head of the humerus can dislocate completely or partially (subluxation) in three directions: anteriorly (most common), posteriorly, or inferiorly. Shoulder dislocation is usually the result of trauma. Typical symptoms include pain and restricted range of motion.

Shallow Socket

Fluoroscopy Imaging

  • Fluoroscopy allows for multi-angle views to ensure accuracy for shoulder joints.

Medications Used for Shoulder Pain

  • Over-the-Counter Painkillers
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Muscle Relaxers
  • Topical Creams
  • Opioids – The most risky. There is a possibility for resistance and needing higher doses to get the same effect. This can lead to accidental overdose.
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Ultrasound Imaging

  • Ultrasound guided injections improves accuracy for shoulder bursa injections.
  • Ultrasound is a cost effective imaging technique.
  • You will not be exposed to radiation

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendonitis or Bursitis
  • Tendon Tears
  • Arthritis
  • Impingement
  • Rotator Cuff Injury

What Are My Treatment Options?

  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Acupuncture 
  • Massage Therapy 
  • Trigger Point Injections 
  • Traumeel and Zeel Injections 
  • Subacromial Bursa Injection 
  • Suprascapular Nerve Block 
  • Acromio-Clavicular Joint Injection 
  • Gleno-Humeral Joint Injection

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At Carolinas Pain Center we serve patients dealing with all types of pain. Read about some of the most common types of pain that we treat. See All Pain Services

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