The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body.
Your shoulder consists of three bones: the humerus, scapula, and clavicle.
It also consists of many muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder bones in place and stabilize the arm through its full range of motion. The four major muscles and tendons of the shoulder come together to form the rotator cuff.
Shoulder injuries are not limited to athletes. Professionals who frequently use their shoulders — such as those involved in painting, landscaping and yard care, or construction trades — experience a higher risk of injury as well.
No matter how a shoulder injury occurs, everyone wants the same result – fast healing and recovery.
Eastside Medical Group in Cleveland provides top quality treatment of shoulder injuries, arthritis, and acute or chronic pain
Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Shoulders at Eastside Medical Group
When joint pain does not resolve in a reasonable amount of time with OTC medication and/or physical therapy, an injection of medication directly into the joint is a frequently performed procedure.
What is in a joint injection?
A joint injection typically contains a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid; other shoulder joint injections can include biologics. The local anesthetic, similar to what you might receive at the dentist, provides early pain relief, while the steroid suppresses inflammation and decreases swelling for long-term pain relief.
In addition to treating joint pain, the injections are used as a diagnostic tool. The local anesthetic has a numbing effect in the joint, and the amount of immediate pain relief experienced will help confirm or rule out the joint as a source of pain.
How are shoulder joint injections administered?
A joint injection is used to treat inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis.
The injection is performed by using ultrasound to guide exactly where the needle needs to go into the affected joint and distributing an anti-inflammatory agent. The most common of these is a corticosteroid (cortisone shots).
What can be expected after a shoulder joint injection?
After the injection, you may experience immediate but temporary pain relief from the local anesthetic.
Because steroids need a few days to deliver noticeable benefits, there is a chance of the pain returning or even worsening. If the pain worsens, it usually subsides within a day or two.
Generally, it’s recommended that you take it easy the day of the procedure, but return to your usual activities the following day. You can ice down the injection site and take an over-the-counter NSAID, like ibuprofen, for pain relief.
Although joint injections do not change the underlying condition, they can break the cycle of pain and inflammation and allow time for exercise or physical therapy to strengthen muscles and get the joints moving again in order to decrease ongoing problems.
Eastside Medical Group also uses hyaluronic acid joint injections for shoulder pain in some instances. Please ask our knowledgeable staff as to what treatment option would be best for your specific case.
For even longer-lasting benefits, Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments may be recommended depending on your condition.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used since the 1970s in medicine for multiple purposes. The last decade has seen a tremendous focus on PRP applications in musculoskeletal medicine. The potential for PRP to promote tissue healing following injury or disease is attractive to many physicians, researchers, and patients alike.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections administer concentrated platelets from the patient’s own blood into damaged cartilage and tendons to reduce pain and to aid in the healing process.
- PRP rebuilds these tissues and can be used for common tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow, and to repair cartilage due to osteoarthritis or other damage.
- PRP injections consist of extracting a blood sample, concentrating the platelets, and injecting them into injured areas of the body.
- PRP injections are sometimes performed in a series, but many patients only require one injection to see results.
Dr. Lauchlin McKeigan, Chiropractic Physician, has seen firsthand the positive healing effects of PRP treatment in his shoulder tear.
What is Shoulder Arthritis?
Arthritis is a common disease that affects the shoulder, causing joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. When a person gets arthritis, they lose cartilage or the cushion in the joint. Cartilage allows the joint to glide easily during motion.
When enough cartilage wear occurs, bone-on-bone rubbing begins, which can be very painful. In addition, the joint becomes inflamed and there is usually a restriction of motion.
How is Shoulder Arthritis diagnosed?
With shoulder arthritis, patients complain of a deep ache that can radiate down the arm. The pain usually gets worse with movement or activity. With time, there may even be pain when resting and eventually, those with shoulder arthritis will awaken at night with shoulder pain. Patients often complain of grinding and difficulty with movement, as well.
An experienced medical professional, like the staff at Eastside Medical Group, will diagnose shoulder arthritis through a thorough physical exam and taking the proper x-rays.
Warning Signs of a Shoulder Injury
If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your shoulder stiff?
- Can you rotate your arm in all the normal positions?
- Does it feel like your shoulder could pop out or slide out of the socket?
- Do you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?
If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, you should consult Eastside Medical Group for help in determining the severity of the problem.
Common Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are frequently caused by athletic activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting.
Injuries can also occur during everyday activities such as washing walls, hanging curtains, handwashing a car, and gardening.
Rotator Cuff Tears
A rotator cuff tear occurs when any tendon of the rotator cuff rips, either partially or completely. Rotator cuff tears are among the most common types of shoulder injuries.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears
- Pain that radiates from the upper shoulder down the elbow
- Difficulty moving the afflicted shoulder
- Pain that becomes worse after laying on the afflicted shoulder
- A dully, achy sensation in the shoulder and upper arm
- Weakness when moving the shoulder
- Pain when raising the arm overhead
A supraspinatus tear is a tear or rupture of the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle.
The supraspinatus is part of the rotator cuff of the shoulder.
Symptoms of a supraspinatus tear include:
- pain when lifting and lowering your arm
- pain when you lie on the injured shoulder
- stiffness in the shoulder
- limited range of movement
Shoulder Labral Tears
Shoulder labral tears are a common acute injury.
The shoulder labrum is a piece of soft cartilage in the socket-shaped joint in your shoulder bone. It cups the ball-shaped joint at the top of your upper arm bone, connecting the two joints.
A group of four muscles called the rotator cuff helps the labrum keep the ball in the socket. This allows your upper arm to rotate. Repetitive motion and injuries can tear the labrum, often causing pain.
Symptoms of a labral tear
A labral tear is usually painful.
It may feel like your shoulder joint is:
You may also feel a sense of instability in your shoulder, a decreased range of motion, and a loss of strength. Pain at night or while doing daily activities is also common with a labral tear.
Adhesive Capsulitis or “Frozen Shoulder”
One of the most common forms of shoulder pain is an ailment known as Adhesive Capsulitis or commonly referred to as, “frozen shoulder.” Frozen shoulder causes stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint and can lead to a loss of movement completely.
Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages.
Each stage can last a number of months.
- Freezing stage. Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited.
- Frozen stage. Pain may begin to diminish during this stage. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult.
- Thawing stage. The range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.
For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes disrupting sleep.
If you are experiencing any pain or the signs of a frozen shoulder, make an appointment to see your experienced care team at Eastside Medical Group today!
Proximal Bicep Tear
Your bicep is the muscle in the front of your upper arm. It helps you bend your elbow and twist your forearm.
Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear at the shoulder
This injury occurs when one of the tendons that attaches the bicep to the shoulder tears.
The long head tendon is more likely to tear than the short head tendon. This type of tear often starts as normal tendon fraying, but can also tear if you get injured. It’s likely that only one part of the tendon will tear in this injury. This means that you can usually continue to use your arm.
Symptoms of a Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sudden, sharp shoulder or upper arm pain
- Snapping sound or pop in the shoulder or upper arm region
- Tenderness at the shoulder
- Biceps muscle cramping
- The weakness with shoulder and elbow movements
- Difficulty rotating the forearm
If you are experiencing any pain or the signs of a possible biceps tear, make an appointment to see your experienced care team at Eastside Medical Group today!
If your shoulder pain is caused by a work-related injury, Eastside Medical Group is an Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation certified provider.
We combine all of our shoulder therapy treatment plans with a combination of comprehensive therapeutic exercises, chiropractic care, and medical-massage to achieve maximum results with our program!
To learn more about our Comprehensive Shoulder Treatment Options, contact our team at Eastside Medical Group located conveniently in Shaker Square.