Shoulder, elbow and wrist pain
Upper extremity pain is a very common issue among many people at some point in their lives.. The shoulder is one of the most vulnerable joints as it has such a wide range of motion, which opens it up to various injuries and problems. Elbows are the next most vulnerable joint and is usually due to repetitive use. When a shoulder or elbow begins to develop functional or anatomic changes pain usually is first noticed during certain activities such as lifting a carton of milk or reaching above the head but as it worsens it is felt also at night while in bed or while at rest. So, why are you experiencing pain and what can you do to find relief? We discuss several treatment options ranging from shoulder stretches to interventional procedures.
Causes of shoulder, elbow and wrist pain
Although many disorders can cause pain, the most common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinitis. The most common elbow disorder is epicondylitis (“tennis/golfers elbow”), and common wrist disorder is usually Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These disorders can be from acute injuries but are more commonly from overuse or repetitive use. These conditions can also include other causes including:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Poor posture
- Frozen shoulder
How to relieve pain
Initial home treatment should consist of rest, reduction of activity and ice for a period of 1-2 weeks. If no improvement is noted then a proper examination to determine the cause is best and we recommend patients to see a physician to make a proper diagnosis and for treatment options.
Talk to a pain doctor about interventional therapies
If these natural treatments don’t work to relieve your shoulder pain at night, it may be time to talk to a pain doctor. They can help diagnose the exact cause of your shoulder pain. If your pain isn’t due to an acute injury or fracture, they may suggest interventional treatments.
These treatments may include:
- Physical therapy/Chiropractic to increase flexibility and reduce pressure of the affected area.
- A regimen of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Traditional joint injections with corticosteroids
- Regenerative medicine approaches, including PRP injections, Amnion, and/or Bone marrow concentrate injections.
Some types of shoulder pain such as arthritis can cause permanent damage, which can be mitigated if caught early enough.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, reach out to your doctor immediately:
- You begin to experience a fever or chills
- If severe pain is constant for more than 3 days or intermittently for two weeks
- You start losing weight without reason
- You have excessive night sweats
- Excessive stiffness, pain, or swelling in your shoulders
- Difficulty moving your shoulder, elbow or wrist or performing daily activities due to pain
It is important to have these symptoms checked as soon as possible as these can be symptoms of serious conditions that should be treated immediately.
Contact Valley Pain Centers for a consultation with one of our Board Certified Physicians