Shoulder & Elbow Pain Treatment

Throughout the day, we are constantly using our arms to lift and throw things, work, or even display our emotion. Because of that, even the smallest bit of pain can cause your normal routines to take a back seat. The good news is that there are many options available for treatment at Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

What is Shoulder/Elbow Pain?

As the shoulder stretches and rotates, it is not uncommon for the ligaments and muscles of the shoulder to stretch beyond their normal limits. When this happens, a sharp pain can radiate through your shoulder and arm, and a feeling of looseness or weakness may follow. In addition, inflammation of the tendons or bursa can occur, causing mobility issues.

Because the elbow joint is an area that connects the humerus (upper arm), ulna (inner forearm), and radius (outer forearm), it received a great deal of force when the arm is in motion. When consistent force or abrupt movements happen, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be affected causing pain.

young man with shoulder painSymptoms and Causes of Shoulder & Elbow Pain

Shoulder and elbow pain can have very similar symptoms and causes, especially if you are an athlete or lead a very active lifestyle. While the symptoms may be similar, it’s important to not the differences so that you can seek the right treatment.

Common Symptoms and Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Dislocation

If the muscles or ligaments of your shoulder are pushed beyond their normal limits by stretching, twisting, or even falling, you may experience a dislocation. This will often happen due to athletic activities, or an abrupt force. The symptoms you will experience can include, but aren’t limited to pain, weakness in the arm, and a loss of tension in the shoulder.

Shoulder Sprain

If you have fallen or experienced a direct hit to your shoulder, from a tackle or accident for example, you may experience a separation or sprain. You may experience a misshapen shoulder, and severe pain through your arm.

Rotator Cuff Injury

One of the most common shoulder injuries involves a tear or rupture of a tendon. If you are experiencing pain, difficulty lifting your arm, and difficulty placing pressure on or sleeping on the injured side, you may have a rotator cuff injury

Other common causes include bursitis, tendonitis, and frozen shoulder.

Common Symptoms and Causes of Elbow Pain

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Commonly called a nerve entrapment injury, this occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed. If you have experienced pain and numbness to your hand or fingers, or a “dead” sensation, you may be experiencing CTS.

Elbow Instability

When the ligaments or muscles of the elbow are torn or pushed beyond their limits, this could cause a dislocation or instability. Symptoms can include locking of the elbow or a frequent clicking sound.

Tennis Elbow

One of the most common causes of elbow pain, Tennis Elbow is when the tendons are damaged that bend the wrist backwards. This can be caused by repetitive motions such as hitting a backhand shot in tennis.

Treatment Options

For both shoulder and elbow injuries, there are multiple avenues of treatment. While some instances may clear up with immobilization and anti-inflammatory medication, others such as fractures or severe tears may require casting or surgical repair.

Common surgical treatments include:

  • Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (UCL)
  • Shoulder Rotator Cuff Repair
  • SLAP Repair
  • Shoulder Reconstruction & Replacement
  • Tommy John Surgery
  • Labral Repairs
  • Biceps Tendonitis

If you are experiencing minor pain, icing and immobilizing can be an immediate help. However, you should contact your physician if the pain persists.

Why choose Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine?

Your arms are integral pieces of your daily routines, so it’s important that you put them in good hands, right? At AOSM, our physicians take time to listen to you, look at the injured areas, and make the right diagnosis the first time. We’ll then take the time to develop a formal plan that will allow you to get back on track in no time.

If you are experiencing shoulder or elbow pain, or have questions about our services, contact us today!


AOSM – Overland Park, KS

12330 Metcalf Ave., Suite 400
Overland Park KS 66213

(816) 525-2840
AOSM – Lee’s Summit, MO

2000 SE Blue Pkwy #230
Lee's Summit, MO 64063

(816) 525-2840

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