Shoulder Pain Specialist

Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports

Spine Surgeons & Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons located in Austin, TX

Your shoulder is incredibly mobile, but that also leaves it susceptible to strains and injuries that cause pain and affect your ability to use your arm. At Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports in Austin, Texas, Scott Spann, MD, offers comprehensive care for shoulder pain, beginning with conservative therapies such as immobilization and physical therapy, and recommending minimally invasive surgery when needed to restore optimal strength. Don’t wait to get help for shoulder pain. Call the office or book an appointment online.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes shoulder pain?

Your shoulder includes two joints, but when you develop shoulder pain, it most often affects the glenohumeral joint, where the upper arm meets the shoulder blade.

The glenohumeral joint is supported by a group of muscles called the rotator cuff. These muscles hold your arm bone in the joint, while also supporting its full range of motion, a combination that makes the joint susceptible to injuries.

Everyday movement alone can damage the rotator cuff. When you add the extra stress of sports or job-related activities that require repetitive arm movement, your risk for a painful shoulder injury increases.

The conditions that often cause shoulder pain include: 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Biceps tendinitis
  • Impingement
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Labrum tear
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Shoulder instability
  • Shoulder fractures

Chronic inflammatory conditions such as bursitis also frequently cause shoulder pain.

How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

After reviewing your medical history and talking about your symptoms and activities, Dr. Spann performs a physical exam. During your exam, he looks for muscle weakness, swelling, tender areas, deformity, and other physical problems. He also tests your range of motion and strength.

Depending on the results of your physical exam, Dr. Spann may perform an X-ray in the office and then order additional diagnostic imaging if needed. If he thinks an internal examination of the joint is needed or if he has any concerns about the severity of your shoulder injury, he may recommend a minimally invasive laparoscopy.

How is shoulder pain treated?

Dr. Spann and the team at Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports offer the full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for shoulder pain. Your individualized treatment plan is based on your diagnosis, the severity of your injury, and your rehabilitation goals.

In most cases, your therapy begins with conservative options such as rest, modifying your activity, and physical therapy. Dr. Spann may also recommend a steroid injection to diminish inflammation and pain.

Fractures and ruptured ligaments or tendons may need immediate surgery to ensure you regain optimal strength and function. Dr. Spann may also recommend minimally invasive surgery to repair your shoulder when pain and weakness persist despite conservative treatment. 

Don’t wait to get help for shoulder pain. Call Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports or schedule an appointment online today.