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Signs It’s Time to Have Your Shoulder Pain Looked At

Signs It’s Time to Have Your Shoulder Pain Looked At

Injuries and chronic conditions can cause shoulder pain. Because the shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body, it's susceptible to injury. If you’re dealing with persistent shoulder pain, don’t put off having it evaluated.

Board-certified orthopedic shoulder and sports medicine surgeon Matthew Pifer, MD, specializes in minimally invasive surgical approaches to restoring shoulder function and relieving pain in Santa Barbara, California. Arthroscopy is a safe and effective approach for examining joints, ligaments, and tendons and for performing minimally invasive shoulder surgery.  

Keep reading to learn the signs that it's time to consult an orthopedic specialist and explore treatment options for your shoulder pain.

Persistent pain

If your shoulder pain persists for more than a few days or seems to resolve only to return, it's a sign of something more serious. Chronic pain typically signals an underlying issue that may require medical intervention.

Limited range of motion

Any time shoulder movement is restricted or limited, whether or not this limitation is accompanied by pain, it’s wise to get an evaluation. 

Keep an eye out for issues such as the inability to perform typical movements without discomfort or if moving your shoulder feels tighter than usual. Difficulty with everyday tasks like reaching overhead, pushing, or pulling is often a sign of joint issues that need professional assessment.

Unexplained arm weakness

Experiencing any weakness or decreased ability to carry things or use your arm in normal daily activities could suggest serious shoulder damage. Issues such as a torn muscle or damaged tendon can cause arm weakness.

Severe shoulder pain

Avoid trying to tough it out if you’re dealing with severe shoulder pain. Any time shoulder pain is severe enough to disrupt your daily activities or interfere with sleep, you need a professional evaluation. Issues like bursitis or rotator cuff tears can cause significant pain. 

Abnormal swelling or visual changes

Any noticeable swelling, abnormality, or significant bruising around the shoulder joint are telltale signs of shoulder damage. If you notice any of these signs, schedule a visit with Dr. Pifer for a thorough evaluation.

Treatment options for shoulder conditions

Following a comprehensive evaluation, Dr Pifer will recommend the most appropriate approach to restoring shoulder function. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is often beneficial in cases of severe shoulder damage or shoulder issues that fail to respond to conservative treatments. 

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical approach that involves using a small camera (arthroscope) inserted through tiny incisions to visualize and repair the shoulder. The camera guides Dr. Pifer while he repairs the damaged joint. This approach can treat:

Arthroscopy is also used for shoulder joint replacement, which involves placing damaged parts of the shoulder with artificial components. Dr. Pifer will recommend the best treatment option. 

Cutting-edge shoulder repair

If you're experiencing persistent or significant shoulder pain, don’t delay seeking help. Early intervention can often prevent more serious problems and help maintain your shoulder health and mobility. 

With advanced treatments like arthroscopic shoulder surgery, many of our patients experience significant pain relief and improved function. Shoulder repair can help you return to your normal activities with minimal downtime. 

Contact our Santa Barbara, California, office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pifer to determine the most appropriate treatment.


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