Chronic pain is typically due to inflammation or painful swelling in a particular area. Shoulder pain is a common problem for both men and women and unfortunately, the shoulder joint offers the widest range of motion. The most mobile area of the whole body, the shoulder allows individuals to move their arms forward, backward, and in full circles in order to do a myriad of things throughout the day. When something is wrong with the shoulder joint there is not only a loss of mobility, but it can cause a person severe pain and discomfort.
The Shoulder Anatomy
The shoulder is essentially like the hip, made up of a ball-and-socket joint. The 3 main bones that give the shoulder joint mobility are the humerus (the long arm bone), the collarbone or clavicle, and the shoulder blade or scapula in the back. These 3 bones that make up the arm work in conjunction with each other in order to allow a person to move their shoulder for a wide range of motion. The rotator cuff gives the arm that range of motion along with the various tendons that make up the joint area so when there is damage or inflammation the result is shoulder pain.
What Causes Painful Shoulder Discomfort?
There are several reasons why men and women are dealing with shoulder pain. The most common issue is rotator cuff tendinitis which is a form of arthritis that affects the tendons that make up the shoulder area. Another common factor can be age. As we get older, the soft tissues that surround the shoulder joint begin to deteriorate leaving no cushion for the joint area resulting in painful discomfort when individuals use their arms. Some other factors can be:
- Torn rotator cuff or torn cartilage
- A pinched nerve in the shoulder or in the neck
- Broken, dislocated, or injured shoulder
- Repetitive use
Seeking Pain Intervention
No matter the reason for your shoulder pain or discomfort, pain centers are able to help patients deal with chronic pain. Often the reason for any discomfort is painful swelling or inflammation. An epidural steroid injection, also known as ESI, can help reduce the pain and swelling while also numbing the surrounding nerves. Those nerves are the sensors telling your brain your shoulder hurts so an epidural can reduce that sensation and block any signals, giving you some relief.
How Does it Work?
An epidural steroid injection or ESI can treat severe pain throughout the body and especially in the shoulder. Administered by a qualified, medical professional, a local anesthetic will numb the area while the steroid injection is inserted. The injection is made up of a corticosteroid to help with the inflammation that is surrounding the shoulder joint area along with a numbing agent. This type of injection not only gives patients pain relief but also allows the shoulder area to heal while reducing the inflammation around the joint.
The End Results
The main goal of ESI injections is to provide patients relief from their pain and discomfort. Our shoulder joints and arms do several tasks for us throughout the day. Even sleeping at night can be disrupted when dealing with shoulder pain. Patients may experience some soreness around the injection area but an over-the-counter medication like Advil or Tylenol can help. Depending on the patient and their level of discomfort, the results may vary, and some patients need a follow-up treatment in order to get the best results. An ESI can be the right solution for pain management and get patients back to feeling normal again.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has four convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park, Lindenhurst, and Valley Stream – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island offices, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.