What Causes Shoulder Pain?
As we age, shoulder problems are a very common cause of pain, with nearly a quarter of all people experiencing some sort of discomfort. The problem is more common in women than men, with about 25% of women being affected and 17% of men.
Common causes of shoulder joint pain can be arthritis, bursitis, and a condition called suprascapular neuropathy. Irritation of the suprascapular nerve, a major nerve which branches from the cervical spine and through the shoulder, can be caused by direct nerve compression from a paralabral cyst, a bone tumor, or a soft tissue tumor. Past trauma to the shoulder joint, as well as some autoimmune conditions may also contribute to chronic shoulder pain.
Diagnosing Chronic Shoulder Pain
A typical visit to Segura Neuroscience and Pain Center for shoulder joint pain will include a series of questions that will help the doctor diagnose the issue. The doctor will explore how long you’ve been dealing with the pain or when you first noticed it. He’ll also want to know more about the activities you perform with that arm and when it bothers you the most. With that information, he’ll be better equipped to diagnose the problem.
From there, he’ll use diagnostic tests, like a nerve block injection, to pinpoint what kinds of issues may be causing the pain. Medical imaging such as an X-ray or MRI will likely be required to spot potential fractures, bone spurs, or calcium deposits.
"An ablation prevents the nerve from sending a pain signal from the shoulder to the brain."Richard C. Robertson, MD
Treating Shoulder joint Pain
Non-surgical procedures are the preferred method of dealing with shoulder pain. If there is no tear present, the first course of action will likely be medications and physical therapy. Anti-inflammatories, either in pill or injection form, may be used to reduce swelling and relieve pain while certain injuries heal.
While surgical options are a last resort in most cases, sometimes they are necessary. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally-invasive treatment option, has been proven to provide relief for those suffering from persistent shoulder joint pain. An ablation prevents the nerve from sending a pain signal from the shoulder to the brain. Patients who have responded positively to a nerve block injection may be ideal candidates for RFA treatment. Drs. Segura and Robertson specialize in the treatment of suprascapular neuropathy through the use of RFA.
"One of the most important factors in successfully treating shoulder pain is to not put off getting an accurate diagnosis."Ronald C. Segura, MD
The benefits of seeing a Chronic Pain Specialist
About Dr. Robertson
Richard C. Robertson, MD is is double board certified in anesthesiology and interventional pain management.
Dr. Robertson served as a board member of the Mississippi State Medical Association and was chosen to receive both the Virginia Stansel Tolbert Award and the Carl Gustav Evers Award for outstanding leadership. He chose to further specialize his training by completing an ACGME-accredited fellowship in interventional pain management at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.
About Dr. Segura
Ronald C. Segura, MD is is double board certified in PM&R and Interventional Spine & Pain Medicine.
Dr. Segura attended LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed a four-year residency training program in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Dr. Segura's philosophy utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to healing pain. His treatment plan focuses on reducing pain and improving functional ability, which enhances one's quality of life.
This website is not intended to provide specific medical advice, medical diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this website and links to other websites, Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use this information in place of the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this website.