12 posts categorized "Shoulder Treatment"

August 22, 2007

The Results of Shoulder Treatments

Treating shoulder pain is often a scary idea for patients who may very well require drastic surgery in order to resolve their issues. However, the daily agony of joint pain isn't something that must be stomached,  and patients do not need to shrug off the pain as a normal aspect of aging.

Physical therapy and drug treatment are normal catagories of treatments that shoulder pain patients across the globe are normally prescribed. In cases even more serious, physical therapy and drugs are not enough to relieve the pain and shoulder replacement surgery is a treatment that can often deliver amazing results.

Dr. Alampallam Venkatachalam
over at Shoulder Surgery, Arthroscopy, Stabilization, Slap Repair India has some great posts documenting the results of some of these treatment options. Keeping in mind the original condition that many of these patients had been in before treatment, some of the results are amazing.

July 18, 2007

Treatment of Shoulder Pain: What Works

In a recent study from the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, the authors, Dr. Hay and Dr. Van Der Windt, out of both the Netherlands and United Kingdom, compared how people did when they had their shoulder pain treated in the primary care setting.  They tried to assess the differences in how these patients were treated and the progress they made.  They first noted that shoulder problems are common with up to 47% adults in the general population reporting such symptoms in a 1 year period. 

In the Netherlands trial, performed by Dr. Van Der Windt, it was found that the effectiveness of a steroid injection did help in the short term, but did not show any evidence there is a long term difference in the recovery when compared at 12 months.  These people were also referred to physical therapy. 

In the United Kingdom group, a study performed by Dr. Hay, it was also noted that the success of steroid injection was also helpful in the short term, but not in the long term.  These groups did not necessarily differentiate the exact cause of the shoulder pain, but focused more on treatment.  Overall they found there was similar improvement between the two groups despite the United Kingdom group using steroid injections later on in the course of the treatment. 

In their conclusions, they note that further study needs to be considered for the place of steroid injections given that they have not been shown to have long term benefit.  The authors are also proponents of continued physical therapy for this and know that in their study groups they had almost 90% improvement in their respected populations and they feel that supports more aggressive use of physical therapy for shoulder pain.

July 09, 2007

NyteTyme Immobilizer

There are SO many products on the market today that promise to relieve your shoulder pain, and it is often difficult to wade through the exaggerations in order to find those that are actually going to be helpful and worthwhile. The NyteTyme Immobilizer is definitely one worth "wading" for.
In an earlier post I referenced a nighttime shoulder brace that had amazing results in a study at The American College of Sports Medicine, and this is the brace I was talking about. The Immobilizer acts to simulate the natural position of the shoulder in the daytime, avoiding the normal nighttime shoulder positions that cause the chronic pain by pinching important parts of the joint.

The results of using the Immobilizer are amazing both because of the brace's effectiveness, and also its speed. As I mentioned before, patients only had to use the brace for a month before they saw drastic results when compared to traditional shoulder pain treatments.

The Immobilizer is a treatment option that gives hope to those who had given up on relief of their chronic shoulder pain as a result of a rotator cuff tear or other shoulder condition.   

Rotator What?

Shoulder pain can be a scary thing. The shoulder is one of the most important joints in the body, and to have its mobility severely hampered is to have one's daily activities drastically affected. However, by acting quickly and following your doctor's advice, it is very possible that a rotator cuff tear could be healed with little change in lifestyle at all.

But when you go to the doctor for shoulder pain, and the doctor gives you the common diagnosis of a rotator cuff tear, oftentimes patients have no idea what the rotator cuff is, or even what it is doing in the shoulder!

Check out this great article on eOrthopod to try and answer those questions - I don't know that I could have put it better myself!

July 02, 2007

Sometimes You Need To Find a Doctor

Nowadays Americans are always looking to take care of themselves without the help of an expensive specialist. That do-it-yourself mentality is one of the reasons why WebMD has quickly become a household name.

Just like many other types of conditions, seeking a joint pain specialist to deal with shoulder pain is often one of the last things a sufferer will do, as they normally choose to wait out the pain. However, if the injury to the shoulder is serious enough, it is not something that can be "waited' away.

For those who are considering their first visit to a joint pain specialist, the webmasters over at Shoulder Pain Solutions have put together an easy tool for finding one wherever you are. There is even a very helpful guide that will help you prepare for that first consultation.

More often than not, shoulder pain is a condition that must be treated with more respect than a simple scratch. If you are experiencing shoulder pain and discomfort consistently, it may be best to consult a nearby physician.

June 30, 2007

Relief from Shoulder Pain With Pilates

Shoulder pain is an issue that plagues millions of Americans from all walks of life. But, luckily, there are many different methods to deal with that shoulder pain, so many that there are relief techniques that can fit into anyone's lifestyle.

I have posted earlier on the benefits of steroid injections, or even joint replacement surgery, but over at How to Deal With Shoulder Pain by Carol, a Pilates Instructor in the United Kingdom, she explores many other treatments that can provide relief.

One of the options that Carol posted on that I found most interesting was How Pilates Can Help With Shoulder Pain. As Carol writes, "Pilates has proven beneficial for persons with shoulder pain as a method to avoid surgery, prepare for surgery or rehabilitate after surgery."

While Pilates is definitely not the traditional physical therapy that most doctors have in mind when they suggest it to their patients, it is definitely an option that those who suffer from shoulder pain may want to explore.

June 20, 2007

Education is Often the Key

As is the case with every type of medical condition, education is the foundation upon which relief can be achieved. This "foundation" can often be built with the help of doctors and physicians who have spent a large portion of their life learning about the common ailments that afflict the population.

However, I just found a tool that can help educate those who suffer from joint pain, but without the cost of a consultation with someone with a Ph.D. This is Dr. Gordon Cameron's ebook, which he is publishing for free on his joint enterprise site. As his site writes: The book covers everything from the anatomy of how your shoulder works to the problem of choosing a therapist.

In an age in which the Internet makes information access and fabrication so easy, it is often hard to find help that is verifiable and from an actual expert. However, Dr. Cameron's ebook is the advice of an expert at the cost of Wikipedia.

June 16, 2007

Frozen Shoulders

Frozen shoulder is a disorder that often arises from a lack of use, commonly arising from pain in the shoulder. When one is afflicted with what doctors call adhesive capsulitis, referring to the actual adherence of the shoulder capsule to the humeral head, the shoulder severely loses mobility and the patient experiences severe shoulder pain.

Many of the traditional treatments for frozen shoulder are similar to those of chronic shoulder pain: anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. Sometimes doctors even use electrical nerve stimulation in order to block the pain receptors and reduce the shoulder pain.

However, A New Way To Treat Frozen Shoulder may be on the horizon as reported by Gordon Cameron, MD over at Joint Enterprise. His post reports a study presented at the American College of Rheumatology that suggests that synovial fluid replacement products may be a useful tool in treating frozen shoulder.

While these injection fluids are often used for patients who are suffering from knee arthritis, doctors may soon find them in their new quiver of shoulder pain treatment options.

May 07, 2007

New Shoulder Therapy

Given that 90 + percent of shoulder pain is due to rotator cuff tendonitis it is worthwhile to consider those therapies set focusing on rotator cuff tendonitis. A recent study presented at The American College of Sports Medicine showed impressive results with using a nighttime brace to treat rotator cuff and tendonitis.

The study started with all patients receiving traditional care, which included hands on anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. However, half the patients then received an additional treatment of a nighttime brace that they wore for one month. The study was blinded. The results showed remarkable 100% improvement in those people who used the brace on a regular basis.

The patients did not need to wear the brace for more than three weeks. Only 50% of those in the group not using the brace got better over a one month period. This small but powerful study did reach statistical significance. This brace does represent new and exciting therapy to deal with this incredibly common problem of rotator cuff tendonitis.

April 02, 2007

Shoulder Steroid Injection

Steroid injection represents a useful tool in the management of chronic shoulder pain. The doctor will typically use a lateral approach to inject the subchromial space, particularly with rotator cuff problems. At different times, the doctor may use an anterior approach or a posterior approach to actually put steroid in the shoulder joint. This would be less common. Ideally steroid should be thought of as providing temporary relief and when used appropriately, and when used in conjunction with physical therapy, shoulder steroid injections will almost act as a band-aid. They’ll give people a temporary period of time where the physical therapy can really start working. This is primarily because the steroid is a very effective anti-inflammatory, and for a short period of time will relieve pain.

Steroids have multiple actions. They act as anti-inflammatory, and therefore, frequently will reduce pain in an area with inflammation. Also and essentially a side effect is that they will cause destruction of protein. Certainly steroids do have a complication and you can get too many steroid injections into a shoulder. There has been research to suggest that if someone were to get more than 3 steroid injections into the shoulder that the subsequent repair of the rotator cuff that may need to happen is more difficult. Shoulder steroid injections are a beneficial tool when used appropriately. It is again recommended that it is used in conjunction with physical therapy. The doctor will perform the steroid injection under sterile conditions as to not introduce germs into the joint space. Steroids are actually produced by the body in small amounts.

The steroids injected into the joint are generally safe and do not have systemic side affects unlike steroid pills. Steroid injections typically will not rise up blood sugars to a significant degree. Possible side affects/adverse affects of shoulder steroid injection would include an infection, bleeding into the joint if the needle goes through a significant blood vessel, skin can ulcerate if too much steroid is injected closely underneath the skin. Also there can be fat trephine under the skin and essentially leaving a dent in the contour of where the steroid was injected. Additionally, there can be tendon rupture and overall weakening of the structure receiving the steroid.