In 2010, there were about 1.2 million people who went to the emergency room due to shoulder problems, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For some, shoulder problems would be something simple that time could heal, but for others, they may find themselves preparing for shoulder surgery. It is crucial that you understand when shoulder pain requires medical attention. Loss of mobility and feeling in your shoulder can worsen over time if you don't take care of the issue right away. Even popping a pain reliever can help with the pain temporarily, but serious shoulder pain will continue to offer problems once the medicine wears off. In an effort to better handle your shoulder pain, it is important to know the difference between serious shoulder problems and mild shoulder problems.
Lifting the Arm Becomes Painful
Mobility is a key component of identifying whether the shoulder pain is serious or not. If you cannot perform typical daily activities due to the pain, you want to seek medical attention right away. Lifting your arm is something you probably do every day with very little effort, but if you start to notice it causing you pain, then you want to seek out treatment as this could be a sign of a torn rotator cuff. About 2 million people seek out medical attention for rotator cuff problems each year with a third of them requiring surgery. While recovery from the surgery can last about 4 to 6 months, the good news is that it can offer you full mobility again once you have reached full recovery.
Reaching Across Your Body is Painful
A simple exercise of reaching across your body with your arm should not result in any pain, but for some with shoulder issues it can be very painful. Oftentimes, this is a sign of distal clavicle osteolysis. This type of injury more often affects weight lifters, but it can also affect athletes and those who perform manual labor consistently. This pain usually occurs at the end of the clavicle bone and you will experience it more when you are performing certain activities. To help alleviate this pain, you may have to take a break from weightlifting or any activity that causes it to hurt. Additionally, steroid shots can also be used to help reduce and alleviate the pain. Surgery to remove the end of the clavicle can be performed if other treatments do not help.
Stiffness in Your Shoulder
About 2% of the population will suffer from a frozen shoulder, with a majority of them ranging in age from 40 to 60 years old. Oftentimes, frozen shoulder happens after you have had surgery that limits shoulder movement like a mastectomy or stroke. To help alleviate the pain and condition, your doctor will recommend certain range of motion activities. In more severe cases, you may have to undergo arthroscopic surgery to loosen the joint capsule.
For more information, talk with a doctor specialist or shoulder surgeon.