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When to See a Specialist About Your Shoulder Pain

When to See a Specialist About Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain isn’t always easy to treat. You use your shoulder constantly, exacerbating the damage and slowing healing for specific injuries. It’s no surprise that 40%-50% of people report ongoing or recurrent shoulder pain at a 12-month follow-up after treating it the first time.  

Some shoulder pain goes away pretty quickly, like if you overstretch your shoulder and take some time to rest it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. The physical therapists at Elation Physical Therapy in Houston and Pearland, Texas, have the expertise to evaluate your shoulder pain, treat it, and collaborate with other experts. But with help from a specialist, you might still be able to make a complete recovery.  

Roy Rivera, Jr., PT, PhD, DPT, MCHES, and Jonathan Koborsi, PT, DPT, evaluate your shoulder’s strength, range of motion, and other functional abilities to determine the level of treatment your injury needs. 

When shoulder pain sets in and you’re wondering whether or not to seek treatment, follow this easy guide:

When home care doesn’t help

There are plenty of potential relief options around your home: ice packs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, and gentle arm exercises with rest in between can help diminish pain in your shoulder. If these tactics help, there’s no need to see an expert for additional care. If your pain persists, the experts at Elation Physical Therapy are happy to assist. 

When you feel the injury happen

Some shoulder injuries happen gradually over time as tiny tears form in the muscles and tendons that control the joint. These repetitive motion or overuse injuries may or may not need professional care depending on their severity, but you should seek an expert’s opinion immediately if a popping or tearing sensation tells you that you’ve injured your shoulder. 

Of course, you’ll feel pain in your shoulder simultaneously. But a pop, snap, or tear could indicate that something in your shoulder is severely injured. When this happens, it’s common to immediately have trouble lifting your shoulder too. This is yet another sign you need specialist care for your shoulder pain. 

When you can’t function normally

Shoulder injuries can come with a limited range of motion that keeps you from performing daily tasks as you normally would. If you struggle to reach outward or upward or can’t move the joint at all, you shouldn’t ignore the injury. 

This goes for sleep too. If your shoulder pain is severe enough to keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, it’s time to put away the ice pack and visit a specialist instead. 

What’s wrong with your shoulder?

When you visit a specialist for the treatment you need, the first thing they do is give you a complete evaluation to determine the cause of your pain. Elation Physical Therapy can help you manage many of the most common types of shoulder pain, including:

Imaging tests can highlight problems like these and show their severity so you can get the appropriate level of care for the source of your pain. 

If you struggle to overcome shoulder pain, or if it seems only to get worse, schedule a visit at Elation Physical Therapy. You can call the office any time or use the convenient online booking feature.

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