The shoulder is one of the most important joints in your body, enabling you to do everyday tasks like brushing your teeth and getting items out of a cupboard. It is also a common source of pain. There is an incredibly large list of conditions that could be causing your shoulder pain, so it is best to see a doctor to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If you do not know what is causing your shoulder pain or are unaware of the recommended treatments, you should seek medical advice. If you experience the following issues, you should call your doctor:
- Inability to use your arm, or inability to carry objects
- A shoulder injury
- Shoulder pain when you are at rest, or during the night
- Pain that persists more than a few days
- Inability to raise your arm
- Swelling or bruising near the joint
- Signs of infection (fever, redness, warmth)
- Any unusual symptoms
Diagnosing Shoulder Pain
Because so many conditions can cause shoulder pain, your doctor will need to make a careful review of your symptoms. One of the best ways to diagnose shoulder pain is with imaging tests like an MRI. MRIs create detailed images of the body that will help your doctor identify and treat the cause of your pain.