A sprained shoulder can be mildly irritating or extremely painful. When you have pain from a sprain shoulder, seek immediate treatment to rule out muscle strain in the shoulder or strained shoulder blades. Quick treatment for a sprained shoulder may help you prevent further damage that impair your abilities. Come to our sports injury and pain management clinic to get your shoulder joint pain evaluation and treatment. Meet our shoulder doctor Febin Melepura M.D. to get the pain relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of the best sports pain management specialists in NYC.
Though often used interchangeably, there’s a subtle difference between a sprained shoulder and a shoulder strain. Pain resulting from a sprain shoulder injury results from the stretching or tearing of ligaments in the shoulder that attach bone to bone. Strained shoulders result from stretching or tearing the tendons that attach bone to muscle.
Your shoulder is a very mobile joint with very little stability, especially when placed in certain positions. Acute injuries should be swiftly addressed by your Midtown Manhattan sports injury doctor to avoid chronic problems. Although shoulder sprain treatment often mimics shoulder strain treatment, your pain or symptoms may differ slightly.
Causes for Sprain Shoulder Issues
There are many different actions that can result in a sprained shoulder. The outer bony knob of your shoulder attaches to both your collarbone (clavicle) and your shoulder blade (scapula) by ligaments. The ligament that attaches the inner end of your collarbone to your sternum can also be damaged, although that’s much rarer. A sprain shoulder injury can result from:
- A strong direct blow to the front or top of your shoulder
- A force on your arm that causes the ligaments to stretch, such as your arm being forced backward when raised 90 degrees at the shoulder
- Tearing or stretching of the ligaments or capsule connecting arm bones at the front of your shoulder
- Damage to the outer end of your collarbone
- Trauma from a fall
- Colliding with an object, such as during contact sports
- A crushing injury
- A kick to your breastbone, as during sports or from a horse
- Sideways or back tackle
- Severe stressing of the joint
The need for shoulder sprain treatment is common among athletes, especially those involved in full contact sports such as hockey or football. Shoulder pain should never be ignored; seek medical attention right away.
Causes of Strained Shoulder Blades
Strained shoulder pain can be acute or chronic, depending on the injury. Acute injuries occur when the muscles or tendons become pulled or torn, resulting in muscle strain in the shoulder. Chronic injuries result from prolonged, repetitive movements on the job or in sports such as gymnastics, tennis, rowing or golf.
Since your shoulder joint is so highly mobile, it’s more susceptible to injuries. However, there are some risk factors that can contribute to more severely strained shoulder blades. These include poor conditioning, fatigue, improper warm-up, environmental conditions (that cause a fall) and poor equipment.
Symptoms Requiring Treatment for a Sprained Shoulder
There’s some overlap between the symptoms of a sprained shoulder and strained shoulder blades, but there are subtle differences. Sprained shoulder symptoms include:
- Pain in your shoulder, usually at the front of the joint
- Tenderness when pressing an area of injury
- Rapid swelling
- Reduced mobility
- Joint instability
- Contorted collarbone
- Feeling a tear or a pop in a joint
- Warmth and redness near affected joint
Symptoms Requiring Shoulder Strain Treatment
Strains can have many of the same symptoms as above, as well as:
- Sharp pain at the site of the injury
- Muscle spasms, swelling or cramping
- Inability to move affected joint
- Numbness in any part of the injured area
Reasons to Seek Shoulder Strain Treatment
Many mild shoulder sprains or strains can resolve on their own with home remedies such as rest and over-the-counter medications. Seek shoulder sprain treatment from your NYC sports medicine doctor, however, when you experience:
- Pain, swelling or stiffness that doesn’t improve in three days
- Popping sensations whenever you move the injured joint
- Inability to move or bear weight on the injured joint
- Bones that don’t seem aligned properly
- Muscle strain in the shoulder that allows no movement whatsoever
- Repeated sprains or strains, indicating chronic weakness
- Fever while the area is red and hot, which may indicate an infection
Your doctor conducts a detailed physical exam to check for pulses, lack of feeling or impaired movement in your wrists and elbows as well as your shoulders. He may request x-rays, an MRI or CT scan to determine the exact nature of your injury.
Treatment for a Sprained or Strained Shoulder
Mild injuries usually resolve themselves with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Other treatments that help muscle strain in the shoulders include:
- Anti–inflammatory medication
- Electrotherapy treatment, such as an ultrasound or laser
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections to reduce swelling
- Arthroscopic or open tendon or ligament repair surgery
- Shoulder replacement surgery
Conservative treatments aim for recovery in one to two weeks. Most who have surgery return to work in about four weeks, though athletes usually need three to five months for full recovery due to the added strain on the joint. Working closely with your Manhattan pain specialist ensures the most adequate shoulder sprain treatment and the quickest return to a pain free, active lifestyle.
Do you have any questions about the shoulder strain treatment we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated shoulder doctor in New York Febin Melepura MD of NYC sports pain management clinic? Please contact our office for consultation with the pain relief specialist in Midtown Manhattan.