Shoulder pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint, which could be due to injuries, acute or chronic inflammation of the shoulder joint, tendons, surrounding ligaments.
Sports injuries are most common in adolescents and young adults. Middle-aged and older individuals more often develop shoulder pain due to rotator cuff lesions, such as supraspinatus tendinopathy and partial or full-thickness tendon tear. Frozen shoulder syndrome and osteoarthritis also occur predominately in older patients.
Bilateral shoulder involvement, also more common among older patients, suggests an inflammatory process such as polymyalgia rheumatica or rheumatoid arthritis.
Several modalities can confirm diagnosis of shoulder pathology such as plain radiographs, or x-rays, MRI and ultrasound of shoulder.
The diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound has been found to be the equivalent to MRI in identifying tendon tears, labral tears, and biceps tendon tears and dislocations. Ultrasound is less expensive than MRI and preferred by many patients.
State-of-the-art ultrasound is used to assess joint and tendon inflammation, and/or tears. Therapeutic injections of the joint under direct ultrasound guidance, is the most accurate way to access the joint. In addition, cold laser therapy, a noninvasive treatment without side effects, is used to help with various shoulder tendon injuries, inflammation and pain.
If you have, or someone you know has, shoulder pain, now is a good time to seek the advice and guidance of a local health professional who specializes in treating shoulder problems.
Dr. Mahsa Tehrani, M.D. is co-founder of Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinical Center of Northern Virginia located in Fairfax. Dr. Tehrani is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. She can be reached at 703-734-2222.
Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic of Northern Virginia proudly serves Vienna, Tyson’s Corner, Fairfax, Great Falls, Mclean, Falls Church, Dunn Loring, Sterling, Herndon, Chantilly, Reston, Ashburn, Leesburg, Burke, Annandale, Arlington, Oakton, Washington D.C., Bethesda, Potomac, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Rockville and more.