The shoulder joint is formed by a combination of muscles and tendons designed to support the humerus (upper arm bone), shoulder blade (scapula), and collar bone. We have a great deal of range of motion that allows throwing motions and scratching our back. However this great flexibility puts the shoulder at risk to overuse syndromes and injuries.
Shoulder pain may start in the shoulder itself or from the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Many patients will present to the clinic with complaints of joint pain in the shoulder not directly related to the neck and elbow. Common causes are arthritis, inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis), inflammation of the bursa (bursitis), or even a tear of a supporting structure such as the rotator cuff or a ligament. An x-ray or MRI may be necessary to further evaluate the source of pain.
Non-surgical treatment options include a peripheral joint injection that places a strong anti-inflammatory into the joint itself to decrease pain and irritation. If you have already had a cortisone injection, we recommend not risking additional damage with repeated injections. Instead, consider regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet rich plasma, stem cell and/or growth factor injection therapy. Physical therapy may also be necessary in combination with the nonsurgical treatment.