Pain in shoulder and elbow, either simultaneously or at different times, is a common musculoskeletal problem. In marginally advanced cases, the discomfort, stiffness, and pain in the shoulder or elbow can also limit a person’s ability to carry out routine activities. While the common causes of the condition are overuse, exertion, and injury; in some cases, the underlying reason is a bone or nerve problem, such as bursitis and osteoarthritis. The orthopedic surgeons participating in the referral line of Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center specialize in treating all sorts of orthopedic problems including shoulder and elbow pain. Continuing on the subject, in this blog post, we discuss some of the main causes shoulder and elbow pain and possible treatment options. Take a look.
Overlapping of Neck and Shoulder Pain
Despite the exceptional capacity of the nervous system to transfer sensations, the way our body reports pain is not always consistent and reliable. Neck and shoulder pain often overlaps – a condition called by many in the medical community, “Shneck Pain”. The reason for this overlap is usually an injury to the multiple nerve pathways that connect the neck and shoulder. In such cases, the brain is unable to trace the pain back to its origination point.
Common Causes of Shoulder & Elbow Pain
Sprain and strain are among the top causes of shoulder and elbow pain. Sprain from a sudden fall, blow or jerk can tear shoulder and elbow ligaments, causing pain of different degrees in the affected areas. Overstretching of shoulder or elbow muscles can also cause pain.
A violent twist or turn can lead to instability and even dislocation of the shoulder or elbow joint. Torn muscle ligaments and fractures often result in the displacement of shoulder or elbow, which is accompanied by intense pain. Dislocation is common among athletes.
Common nerve injuries that lead to shoulder and elbow pain include a pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy, in case of shoulder; and ulnar nerve compression, in case of elbow. Pinched nerves usually cause a feeling of pins and needles, and pain, whereas patients with a ulnar nerve experience pain and numbness in the hand, ring finger, and little finger.
Disorders such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are usually characterized by swelling, pain, and stiffness. These conditions can lead to chronic degeneration of the joints. They are common in people who are 50 years and above; although those with a family history of osteoarthritis can also develop the disorder.
Shoulder and elbow pain treatment usually includes complete rest and avoidance of any physical activities that can trigger pain. If the pain is severe, the doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone injections to reduce inflammation. In addition, physical therapy usually forms an important part of the treatment. Surgeons may also recommend surgery in cases of serious injuries or arthritis that cannot be addressed with medication and physiotherapy.
Consult a Shoulder and Elbow Specialist, Today!
Just like any other health condition, shoulder and elbow pain needs timely medical attention, without which things may not get any better on their own. If you live in Plano or in a nearby city, get in touch with Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center. We can connect you with experienced orthopedic surgeon members practicing in your area. To schedule an appointment with a shoulder and elbow specialist, simply call 888 608 4762 or fill out our contact form.
NOTE: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic.