Chronic Shoulder Pain – Is surgery my only option?

peakhwChronic Pain, Joint Pain

Taylor Swenson, APRN, FNP-C

Surgery is Not Your Only Option

I’ll get to the point…No, surgery is not your only option. There are many different reasons a person can suffer from chronic shoulder pain. There are many ways to treat shoulder pain as well. The article I will link to at the conclusion of this article took a look at a patients in the UK with chronic shoulder pain. Some had surgery, others had “placebo surgery”. The conclusion was that it made no difference.

If you do not need surgery, why get it done? Shoulder pain has responded well to several therapies including cortisone injection, oral steroids, oral anti-inflammatories (more than just ibuprofen), physical therapy, rest, opioid therapy, and the jury is still out, so-to-speak, on platelet rich plasma and stem cell injections. That is quite a few options. As with other ailments, it usually takes a combination of therapies.

If you are squeemish about getting a long, sharp object shoved into a very small area you are not alone. Most of my patients tell me they hate needles. Most of my patients also ask me in amazement after the injection “You’re done? That wasn’t bad at all”. Or, “When are you going to do it?” They can’t believe they have had it already completed. Kenalog or Dexamethasone injections do work for the majority of patients and some patients get months and months or relief, others just a month or two, and for a few unlucky ones, the treatment just doesn’t help. I can do the procedure in office but it is good to get prior insurance approval.

But if needles really isn’t your thing, oral steroids can help and strong anti-inflammatories can also help. Not to mention some of the anti-inflammatories these days are much safer than ibuprofen or naproxen you get over the counter.

Whether you were in a car accident, tore your rotator cuff, have bursitis, are suffering with calcific tendonitis, or was just a little overzealous and threw that pigskin a quarter mile at the state championship and hurt your shoulder as a result, we can treat your chronic shoulder pain. Come see us and lets go over your options.

Come visit us at any of our three Utah locations in Layton, North Ogden, and Providence, Utah.

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