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Shoulder Pain – When is It Serious?

>> Jun 28, 2012

Grating pain in the joint, tearing or pinching pain in the muscle; shoulder pain can be incredibly debilitating. Think of how many times a day you move your shoulders. It is one of the most worked joints in our bodies so it is not surprising that many people experience reoccurring shoulder pain.

Some shoulder injuries are little more than a passing annoyance and some require medical attention to avoid prolonged effects. It is can initially be difficult to know when you are experiencing a niggling pain that will go away and when it may be a more serious condition which requires medical treatment or shoulder surgery.

There can be many causes of shoulder pain: incorrect posture while using a computer, performing repetitive tasks, gym or sports injuries, clumsiness, arthritis, and whiplash. Many times we do not even know how our shoulder injury occurred. Some things to consider regarding your shoulder pain:

How did the injury occur? When did the pain start? Your doctor will want to know how the injury occurred. If you are unsure your shoulder pain may be the result of repetitive strain or from incorrect posture at work. A desk, which is too tall or a keyboard incorrectly positioned can strain your shoulders.

How long have you had pain? Sometimes an injury will repair itself with a little rest. Continuous pain, which lasts a number of days, is a sign of a more serious issue. Your doctor will want to know if you experience pain doing certain activities or also when resting your shoulder.

Have you tried over the counter pain medication or hot and cold compresses? Less serious injuries will often be temporarily relieved by over the counter medications, rest and hot or cold compresses. Continuous use of any medication is not encouraged and medical care should be sort if any medication is being used to treat prolonged pain.

Do you have a history of gallbladder problems, or is there a history of the issue in your family? Gallbladder issues can cause referred pain in the right shoulder. Your shoulder pain could be an indicator of some other issue.

Are you experiencing shortness of breath? Sudden shoulder or arm pain can be a symptom of heart attack. If you experience sudden shoulder or arm pain and shortness of breath you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you are concerned about any shoulder injuries or any shoulder pain you should always consult a medical professional who can refer you to the relevant specialist.

Sharon Freeman is a surgeon who writes about Shoulder Surgery and health information for companies like Kaliper Orthopedics.
Find Sharon on Facebook.

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