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When to see a shoulder doctor for shoulder pain

There are many possible causes of shoulder pain, such as arthritis, injury, and overuse. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, chances are your instinct is to give it some rest, so the symptoms subside on their own. If you are like most people who suffer from shoulder pain, you likely use over-the-counter pain relievers to help with the pain. For some, this is enough to get relief, but for others, it’s not.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine when exactly a visit to a shoulder doctor is necessary. Here is some guidance that you can use to determine when you should schedule an appointment.

Signs Your Shoulder Problem is Serious

While a lot of people experience shoulder pain in their lives, especially as they get older, it isn’t something you should ignore or take as a symptom of aging. This can cause you to delay getting much-needed treatment.

In many cases, patients delay seeing a shoulder doctor until their symptoms become unbearable. This is not a good idea. If your shoulder pain is caused by an underlying condition, delaying seeing a doctor could make the damage worse, which can require more complex treatment. Similarly, if your shoulder pain is caused by a lifestyle habit, such as repetitive movements when playing a sport, delaying seeing a doctor could cause the internal injury to continue to get worse.

If you have shoulder pain that does not subside after a week of rest, you should seek medical care – even if the pain is bearable. It is always a good idea to see a doctor if you suffer an injury that causes symptoms to develop suddenly.

Here are other signs that it’s time to see a shoulder doctor:

  • Pain is getting worse over time
  • There is redness, swelling, and a warm feeling in the shoulder
  • There are different types of pain symptoms present, such as sharp, stabbing, throbbing, dull, and aching
  • Pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as numbness or weakness
  • There is a loss of sensation in your upper extremity
  • Pain is making it difficult to sleep
  • Your shoulder has a restricted range of motion
  • You hear a popping sound when you move your shoulder
  • There is a noticeable lump on the shoulder or a sign of deformity

If your shoulder pain is sudden and is accompanied by chest tightness and difficulty breathing, seek emergency treatment. It could be a heart attack. Otherwise, you should schedule an in-office visit with an orthopedic doctor.

Shoulder Doctor in Delray Beach, Florida

Shoulder pain is common, but it is not something you should live with. Dr. Steve Meadows is a hand and upper extremity surgeon, renowned for his skill in treating the complete range of upper extremity conditions, including shoulder problems. Dr. Meadows uses the latest and most advanced treatments to allow our patients to get back to their lives sooner. Dr. Meadows is physically active himself and is highly empathetic towards patients experiencing restrictions in motion brought about by pain.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Meadows, call our clinic at 561-496-6622 or use our appointment request form. Dr. Meadows also serves Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, Florida.

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South Palm Orthopedics
4800 Linton Blvd., Building A
Suite 201
Delray Beach, FL 33445
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