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Mon, 31 Aug 2020

Have You Been Shrugging Off Your Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can make everyday activities challenging and unbearable. The shoulder is made up of several joints, tendons and muscles that allow a wide range of movement. Because of this, it can be hurt by a variety of conditions.

Here are some common reasons for shoulder pain:

Rotator Cuff Injuries 
The Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of the upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, which often worsens when you try to sleep on the involved side. A torn rotator cuff is a common shoulder injury that can be caused from repeated movements while playing sports, performing a job function or doing common household chores, such as yard work.

Shoulder Arthritis
The most common type of shoulder arthritis is Osteoarthritis. It is also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis and damages the smooth outer covering of bone. As the cartilage wears away, the protective space between the bones is reduced. The bones of the joint rub against each other causing pain. Other less common forms of shoulder arthritis include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Posttraumatic Arthritis and Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy.

Shoulder Bursitis
Bursae are tiny, fluid filled sacs found inside each of your shoulders. They provide cushion and reduce friction between muscles and the bone. When a bursa sac is inflamed or irritated, it can cause bursitis. It usually happens from repeated pressure or using the joint too much. The most common symptom of this condition is pain, but the joint may also be stiff and swollen.

Shoulder Dislocation
The shoulder joint is the body’s most mobile joint. It can turn in many directions, but this also makes the shoulder an easy joint to dislocate.

A dislocation happens when the ball pops out of your socket. A dislocation can be partial, or a complete dislocation means it is all the way out of the socket. A common type of shoulder dislocation is when the shoulder slips forward, when the upper arm bone is moved forward and out of its socket.

Shoulder Separation
A shoulder separation involves the AC joint (acromioclavicular joint). The AC joint is where the collarbone meets the highest point of the shoulder blade. The most common cause for a separation of the AC joint is from a fall directly onto the shoulder, injuring the ligaments surrounding the AC joint. If the force is severe, the ligaments attaching to the underside of the clavicle are torn and causes the separation of the collarbone and the shoulder blade.

Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder happens when the connective tissue lining the shoulder joint thickens and becomes inflamed. It causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder and the shoulder may become more difficult to move. The risk of developing frozen shoulder increases when recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents you from moving your arm.

Fracture
A shoulder fracture is a partial or total crack to one of the shoulder’s main bones, clavicle, scapula, or humerus. A fracture of any of these shoulder bones can greatly impair your mobility and cause severe pain. Shoulder fractures happen as a result of trauma or injury to the shoulder from a fall, sports, car accident or any direct blow to the shoulder.

Contact Us

Shoulder pain can occur from a variety of issues, but arthritis, injury, and repetitive motion are leading causes of many of these conditions. Keeping your shoulders healthy and getting a proper diagnosis is important. Our highly experienced orthopedic physicians are experts at diagnosing and treating the full range of shoulder issues. Contact us today with any shoulder trouble you are having. 

 

Wed, 29 Jul 2020

Did You Throw Your Back Out? Understanding Lower Back Pain

Tips to decrease back pain from orthopedic doctor

 

It is estimated that 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. “Throwing your back out” is a phrase that’s used to describe pain and discomfort in the lower back. It can refer to many conditions but is often used to describe back spasms and muscle sprains from overexertion or incorrect form while lifting heaving objects. Less commonly, it can refer to a herniated disc or broken vertebrae.

What are some of the symptoms experienced by “throwing out your back?”

  • Back stiffness
  • Difficulty moving and limited range of motion in your back
  • Intense and sharp back pain
  • Muscle spasms

When you experience these symptoms, there are simple things you can do to help relieve your pain:  

  • Get some rest, but not for too long.
    • Sitting still for too long can make the problem worse.
    • Don’t lie down for more than a few hours at a time.
    • Try to return to your normal daily activities as soon as you are able.
  • Cold and heat therapies can provide some relief.
    • An ice pack on your back for short periods of time can aid in reducing pain and swelling.
    • Applying heat to the area with a shower, bath, or heating pad can help relax the tense muscles and reduce inflammation.
  • Try pain relievers.
    • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen should provide some relief.
  • If the injury or pain persists it’s time to see a spine specialist like Dr. Pedro Ricart.

What else can you do to prevent future back injuries and treat your spine better?

  • You can lower your chances of throwing your back out by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
    • Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can put a strain on your back.
    • Having a strong back and core muscles can help reduce the likelihood you’ll throw out your back.
    • Quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes is linked to back pain.
  • When lifting heavy objects, bend at your knees and lift with your legs.
  • Wear protective equipment like a weightlifting belt or back brace that provides extra support.
  • Warm-up before exercising.
  • Try to avoid high heels, as they can cause back problems.
  • Maintain good posture. Sit upright and stand straight. Hunching over will strain your back and put you at risk for further injury.

Spine specialists create a customized treatment plan for diagnosing the issue, finding methods to reduce pain, and giving suggestions on other ways to prevent some future back pain. If back pain is causing you problems, contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ricart and get back to doing the things you enjoy! 

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