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Shoulder Pain Specialist

Spine, Sport & Physical Medicine Center

Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine located in Sarasota, FL

When healthy, your shoulders have the fullest range of motion of all the joints in your body and can also cause you a lot of pain when something goes awry. Dr. Carlos Diaz is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist who leads the team at Spine, Sport & Physical Medicine Center in Sarasota, Florida. He’s an expert at determining the reason for your shoulder pain and designing a personalized care program that relieves your symptoms without surgery whenever possible. Call the office today for an appointment with Dr. Diaz or book your visit online.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is a common complaint that can stem from a wide variety of issues due to the complexity of your shoulder joint.

Your shoulder includes three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle). The head of your upper arm bone fits into a shallow, rounded socket on your shoulder blade that’s called the glenoid. A combination of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff cover your upper arm and attach it to your shoulder blade.

Your shoulder pain may be due to:

  • Tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or a rotator cuff tear
  • Instability in the joint due to wear and tear on the tendons and muscles of the shoulder, which can eventually result in dislocation
  • Arthritis, most commonly osteoarthritis, which causes degenerative changes in the joint due to aging or repetitive activities such as throwing a baseball
  • Fracture (broken bone) involving the collarbone, upper arm bone, or shoulder blade that may result from a relatively minor fall if you’re an older adult

How can you tell what’s causing my shoulder pain?

Sometimes the cause of your shoulder pain is revealed via a detailed discussion of your symptoms and a comprehensive exam that includes shoulder range of motion and strength testing. During the exam, Dr. Diaz checks for obvious physical abnormalities, swelling, and tender areas.

He may also order specific diagnostic tests such as X-rays to check for injuries to the bones of your shoulder joint or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify damage to the ligaments and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint, such as a rotator cuff tear.

What is the treatment for shoulder pain?

Treatment for shoulder pain typically includes:

  • Rest from activities that are causing your pain
  • Physical therapy to help improve shoulder strength, range of motion, and flexibility
  • Oral medications for inflammation and pain
  • Steroid injections to reduce inflammation in the shoulder joint

Although Dr. Diaz may recommend you moderate activities such as basketball to rest your shoulder, it’s important that you continue the range-of-motion or flexibility exercises as he prescribes to prevent a painful condition called frozen shoulder.  

If necessary, Dr. Diaz may refer you for surgery to repair a torn tendon or other shoulder problems that don’t respond to conservative treatment.