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Shoulder Pain

Andrew Bulczynski, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Marina Del Rey, CA

When brushing your hair or reaching into the kitchen cupboard becomes too painful of a task, it’s time to take action to treat your shoulder pain. Dr. Andrew Bulczynski in Marina del Rey, California, is available to help determine what is causing your shoulder pain and then create an individualized pain management plan that works for you. To take action against your shoulder pain and regain your range of motion, call Andrew Bulczynski, MD, or book an appointment online today.

Shoulder Pain

How do I know if I have a shoulder problem?

The shoulder is made up of several joints, tendons, and muscles that run from your clavicle down through the top of your arm bone. As the most flexible joint in your body, the shoulder plays a vital role in nearly every activity, from lifting your grocery bags to throwing the winning pitch in baseball.

Shoulder pain can develop from the shoulder joint itself or its surrounding ligaments, so your treatment options depend on the injury or condition you incur.

What causes shoulder pain?

Whether you suffer a sports injury or develop bursitis gradually, there are a variety of reasons you may be experiencing shoulder pain. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include:

Rotator cuff injury

Made up of a group of muscles that surround the shoulder joint, the rotator cuff plays a crucial role in keeping the top of your upper arm bone in its socket. Most patients describe rotator cuff pain as a dull ache that worsens during sleep. This type of injury is especially common in tennis players, carpenters, and baseball players.

Bursitis

Also known as joint inflammation, bursitis occurs when the small fluid-filled sacs known as the bursae become inflamed or irritated. Many patients with shoulder bursitis experience stiff, achy shoulder joints that worsen with exercise.

Brachial plexus injury

Your shoulder is made up of countless nerves, including the brachial plexus nerve network, which send vital signals from your spine to your shoulder, arms, and hands. When these nerves are compressed, stretched, or injured, they can cause extreme nerve pain or even arm paralysis in rare cases. Brachial plexus injuries are most commonly seen in automobile or motorcycle accident victims.

Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of the shoulder tendons, which connect the muscles in your body to the bones. While most tendinitis cases can be treated with rest, physical therapy, and pain relief medications, it can lead to a tendon rupture if left untreated for long enough.

Arthritis

Both rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, and osteoarthritis, a “wear and tear” arthritis in cartilage, can cause shoulder pain. Pain, tenderness, redness, and lack of flexibility are all signs that you may be experiencing arthritis pain.

Do I have treatment options?

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, Dr. Bulczynski will take a look at your medical history and conduct a complete physical examination before recommending imaging tests to determine what is causing your pain. Some of these tests include an X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, or an arthroscopy.

Dr. Bulczynski can prescribe a number of pain relief medications, along with rest, ice and heat therapy, and physical therapy. If your pain continues to worsen in spite of these interventions, you may need to consider surgery.

For more information on your shoulder pain treatment options, call Andrew Bulczynski, MD, today or book an appointment online.