Shoulder Problems & Treatments

Shoulder Problems & Treatments

Nearly everyone between the ages of 18 and 88 will experience a shoulder pain issue.

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned athlete, weekend warrior, young or old, shoulder joint problems do not discriminate; it can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. In fact, shoulders are the most commonly injured joints in the body because they are the only joints that sit on a moveable platform, the shoulder blade. “The unique and complex anatomy of the shoulder makes it the joint with the greatest range of motion but the least stable, and most susceptible to strain, repetitive injuries and aging than other joints,” said Ryan Dopirak, MD, Lakeshore Orthopaedics. The shoulder is an area comprised of several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow such a wide range of motion in the arm.

It is an amazing joint, but its range of motion and mobility has its price. “It may lead to increasing problems with instability or impingement of the soft tissue or bony structures in your shoulder, which causes pain. You may feel pain only when you move your shoulder, or all the time,” said Dr. Dopirak.

“Shoulder injuries and shoulder pain are extremely common in today’s active population and in most cases, the injuries are minor and can be successfully treated with a course of rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy,” said Dr. Dopirak. However, in some patients, the underlying cause of pain may be more serious. “Regardless of your age or activity level, persistent shoulder pain that adversely affects your quality of life should be evaluated.”
While nonsurgical treatments are often the starting point, delaying the surgical repair of a shoulder can increase the likelihood of a more difficult condition to treat later. Many people don’t go to the doctor until they are having sleep disturbances. “Positioning yourself for sleep can be challenging for a person with shoulder pain; research has shown that disturbed sleep can actually exacerbate pain,” said Dr. Dopirak. “Early and accurate diagnosis and treatment of shoulder problems is important and will make a significant difference in the long term.”

There are several conditions that cause shoulder pain such as; bursitis/tendinitis, impingement and partial rotator cuff tears, instability, fractured collarbone and acromioclavicular joint separation, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to Dr. Dopirak, “The treatment will depend on the diagnosis and the severity of the problem.”

The Shoulder Clinic at Lakeshore Orthopaedics offers a multidisciplinary team of providers highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder disorders in patients of all ages and activity levels. They specialize in the treatment of complex shoulder disorders, including failed prior shoulder surgeries, and routinely provide second opinions for difficult cases. The Clinic also has a state-of-the-art physical therapy facility with dedicated therapists experienced in rehabilitating the shoulder. Convenient shoulder consultations are offered at the Clinic Monday through Friday, which include a comprehensive examination to help diagnose the causes of your shoulder pain. During this exam, Dr. Dopirak will look for physical abnormalities, swelling, deformity or muscle weakness, check for tender areas and observe your shoulder range of motion and strength. He may also order some tests to further identify the cause of your pain and determine whether there are other problems.

“Most people think joint problems are limited to serious athletes or older adults. But when it comes to the shoulder, everyone is at risk,” said Dr. Dopirak. If you are suffering with persistent shoulder pain or weakness, consider The Shoulder Clinic at Lakeshore Orthopaedics. Call 920-320-5241 or 1-800-994-3662 (ext. 5241) for an appointment with Dr. Dopirak.