Pediatrician wrapping wrist of patient during exam

Causes


What Are the Most Common Causes of Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder joint is comprised of a ball and socket, tendons, and muscles, which work together to allow you to do everything from combing your hair to throwing a football. Because of the amount of use and the level of mobility, the shoulder is prone to problems, such as fracture, dislocation, nerve impingement, and degenerative changes that can cause acute or chronic pain.

What Are Common Injuries That Can Cause Swollen Ankles?

The most common types of ankle injuries that we see include ankle sprains caused by rolling the ankle inward or outward, sprains that occur when the foot and lower leg twist outward, fractures, and dislocations.

How Are Back Pain and Sciatica Connected?

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back and down the back of each leg. When an injury or degenerative changes involving the lower back put pressure on the nerve, it can cause pain that radiates all the way from the lower back down to the foot.

Whether you are suffering from a sprained knee or swollen ankles caused by a sports injury, MD Now can help. Our providers can determine the type and severity of your injury and recommend the proper treatment.


Symptoms


What Is a Shoulder Strain or Sprain?

A shoulder strain or sprain occurs when the ligaments or muscles in the front of the shoulder are stretched or torn by applied force in any direction–backward, forward, up, or down. Common causes of shoulder strains and sprains include falls, car accidents, sports injuries, and blows to the shoulder blade. Signs and symptoms of a shoulder strain or sprain may include:

  • Shoulder pain at the front of the joint
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness when touching the affected area
  • Difficulty moving the affected shoulder

What Is the Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain?

A sprain involves the stretching or tearing of the ligaments that connect bones to other bones at joints. A strain involves the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. Both types of injuries may produce similar signs and symptoms. For example, sprains and strains involving the ankles may cause pain, swollen ankles, and bruising.

How Can I Tell If I Have Dislocated My Shoulder?

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball of the upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket located on the shoulder blade. Most shoulder dislocations are the result of sports injuries, falls, or trauma unrelated to sports, such as a car accident. Signs and symptoms of a shoulder dislocation may include:

  • Intense shoulder pain
  • Swelling or bruising
  • A shoulder that appears visibly deformed or out of place
  • Inability to move the affected shoulder

How Can I Tell If I Have a Broken Bone?

The most common signs and symptoms of a bone fracture include pain, swelling, and deformity of the affected area. Small breaks or cracks in the bone may not be extremely painful or cause visible deformity. An MD Now provider can determine if the bone is actually broken and recommend the appropriate treatment.

What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that attaches a bone to muscle. The most common cause is overuse of the affected joint or repetitive activities. Treatment for tendonitis normally involves rest, icing the affected area, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. If the tendonitis does not resolve with these conservative treatments, corticosteroid injections or physical therapy may be required.


Treatment


How Is a Shoulder Strain or Sprain Treated?

Shoulder pain caused by a minor strain or sprain can normally be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on the severity of the injury, your MD Now provider may also recommend using a sling or having physical therapy.

What Is the Best Treatment for a Sprain or Strain?

Whether you have swollen ankles caused by a sprained ankle or pain from a strained calf muscle, the gold standard for treatment is RICE therapy. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You should avoid putting any weight on or using the affected joint for 24 to 48 hours. Apply ice packs to the injured area for up to 10 minutes at a time throughout the day. Use a compression sleeve or wrap the affected area using an elastic bandage. This will help keep the swelling down. Keeping the affected area elevated above the level of your heart will also help reduce swelling.

You should see an MD Now provider if the pain and swelling do not improve within 72 hours, your symptoms get worse, or you cannot bear weight or use the affected joint. These may indicate a more serious injury.

How Is a Dislocated Shoulder Treated?

Treatment for a shoulder dislocation involves manipulating the joint back into position and immobilizing the joint with a sling or splint as it heals. You may also be given medication to help with the pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery and/or physical rehabilitation may be required.


The content provided on the MD Now website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for receiving medical care and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Never delay seeking advice, evaluation, and treatment from a medical professional because of what you’ve read on this site, since the information provided may not apply to you or your symptoms.