Have you ever experienced shoulder pain and you haven't got a clue where it came from or how to get rid of it for good?
We consistently have a large number people in our town of St. Petersburg calling into our office and setting up appointments to get solutions for their shoulder pain.
We wanted to write this blog with the purpose of answering that question, offering expert advice, and giving helpful tips to enable you to live an active, pain-free life.
Like most people, you probably don't think about your shoulders much on the day the day. But, when you start to develop some pain in that shoulder region, you immediately begin to notice your shoulders a lot more! Your first instinct might be to briefly self-assess and try to recall what may have caused this shoulder pain to begin.
The reason for this shoulder pain could be anything - just think about all of the things that you do with your arms throughout the day. One singular event can cause a shoulder injury or it can occur over the course of weeks, months, and years of events - sort of the "the straw that broke the camel's back" analogy. Here are some examples:
Regardless of how it happened, the main thing you want to do if you're suffering from shoulder pain is to figure out how to get rid of the pain for good! Are we right?
What we find is that the first instinct of most people is to give it rest and to see if it goes away with time. In rare cases, this passive approach can help, but it is much more likely that you get reminded that it is still there weeks or months down the road.
The secret to getting relief that is fast and that lasts is finding the root cause as quickly as possible!
Think about the the professional athletes and what happens when they're injured. They don't wait around to see if it gets better with time, they get immediate care and they get as much information as possible so that they make the right decision. They also don't call their family medicine doctor, but instead they get seen by someone who understands sports injuries - usually a specialist.
The point is that your body isn't worth a professional athlete's contract.... It's actually worth a whole lot more. It's YOUR body we're talking about! You only get one in a lifetime and you must take it seriously.
So, What Is A "Specialist" and How Do I Know Where To Go?
A specialist can be said to describe lots of different providers. For instance, an orthopedic surgeon is a specialist at performing surgery on the major joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. Some orthopedic surgeons are even more specialized to work with hand and wrists, elbows, spine, and hips.
You have have other physicians that specialize in non-operative treatments for joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. You also have physical therapists who specialize in sports and orthopedics and others that specialize in geriatric care.
Why is this important?
What's more important than checking which orthopedic is in your insurance plan, is figuring out what you value in terms of solutions. Do you want to see a surgeon (MD/DO) who's specialty is surgical solutions or do you want to see a MD/DO who specializes in non-surgical solutions to fixing pain?
Many go to doctors to get answers but they don't like the options they give because it doesn't align with their values (cortisone injections, rest, surgery). And then they go looking for someone else, which is when they find medical practices like us - Alliance Regen and Rehab.
#2) Comprehensive Evaluation - Our main goal is getting as much information as possible to determine the the ROOT cause of the injury. A comprehensive evaluation that involves movement analysis, special tests, review of history, goal assessment, diet, career, and diagnostic imaging.
This is imperative to finding the true underlying source of pain. When evaluations are rushed or short-sided, then things may be missed! That is why we prefer to get our new patients set up with a movement and detailed evaluation with a physical therapist and a diagnostic ultrasound imaging evaluation with our sports medicine physician. This significantly decreases the chance that we let something slip through the cracks.
Believe it or not, there is one injury that providers overlook consistently when evaluating shoulder pain - Labrum Tears
A patient was referred to us after weeks of getting some treatment for shoulder pain and instability. He did get some improvement but his improvement was capped and it wasn't close to being 100%. During a physical therapy evaluation, some of our tests indicated that a labrum injury could be the "root cause." Instead of just guessing and going on with treatment, he was referred right across the hall for a diagnostic ultrasound imaging scan. A posterior labrum tear was found labrum tear was found and confirmed to be the main source of this pain.
Because we've seen this sort of presentation so many times and because we have a "two-factor authenticator" diagnostic system, we're able to get the right diagnosis faster!
This was also after a clean imaging report by the way - see below....
Pro Tip: MRI's don't tell the whole story.
We've gotten multiple patients like the one above who have had "clean MRI's" but they still suffered from shoulder pain. In the same breathe, an MRI can also show things that are definitely there (bulging disc or tendonitis), BUT they in reality they aren't symptomatic and they aren't the cause of your pain or functional limitations.
We're lucky to have our board certified physician and sports medicine specialist who is an expert in diagnostic ultrasound imaging, and he is able to provide breakthroughs for these patients because it's just such a revelation and freeing feeling - to know what is causing the pain and to have hope for complete healing. Yes, even when an MRI came back "clean" or when treatment hasn't been working.
There is nothing that we've seen that has worked better than co-treating with other great medical providers. If you have a great physical therapist, we can bet the house that you and your team will get better results when it's combined with something like PRP (platelet rich plasma). If you get something like PRP, then you're doing your body a disservice if you aren't getting physical therapy after the procedure/s.
Coordinating care teams such as a physical therapy and chiropractic or regenerative medicine + nutritional coaching + physical therapy + acupuncture work incredible.
All of these "secrets" come from years of experience in treating thousands of patients and in seeing multiple different medical systems. It was our goal to make a practice that transcended conventional healthcare by offering a unique and highly effective medical experience, maximizing results with co-treatment options, and enhancing the patient-provider relationship!
Natural Ways to Cure Shoulder Pain
Due to the increasingly amount of people who place high value on their body and active lifestyle, more and more people are putting their faith in non-operative solutions to pain such as physical therapy and regenerative medicine; whether that's getting back to your exercise classes, being able to run pain-free gain, golf as much as you'd like, play with your kids, or just simply enjoying the weekend.
However, we know that people are unsure if this even works, if it is the right option for them, or if we're the right for them.
To help people, potentially like you, who want to end their shoulder and neck pain so they can sleep better, feel happier and make the most of their free time with their loved ones…
We offer free discovery consultations which give you the opportunity to find out more about how we can help you.
If you're someone who values their health and wants to team up with our physicians and physical therapists who specialize in non-operative solutions, then we invite you to click the link below to fill out the application form for our Discovery Visit.
Thank you so much for reading this blog! We hope it helped you or someone you love in some way, and we also thank you for placing your trust in us!
If you are struggling with shoulder pain, we have a number of free resources to help.
Download our free Neck and Shoulder Pain Report and discover how stop chronic, daily annoying shoulder pain pain.
Ask us about our Alliance Rx Method Co-Evaluation