Pain in the shoulder or elbow isn’t just for pitchers and quarterbacks. Golfers and tennis players gearing up for the spring season also experience these common injuries. Athlete or not, persistent or recurring pain in the shoulder or elbow joints is something that affects many Americans due to overuse or age-related wear and tear.
“It is not normal to have persistent shoulder and elbow pain. Whether you are 17 or 70, it is important to address the issues in your joints to make sure you can maintain your health and lifestyle,” said Stephen D. Sandoval, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon board certified in orthopedic surgery and orthopedic sports medicine, who practices at Baylor Scott & White Surgical Hospital at Sherman.
The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body, and the elbow is one of the most heavily utilized. That all adds up to a lot of opportunity for injury. Some of the most common injuries for the shoulder joint include dislocation, separation, tendonitis and a torn rotator cuff. Frequent elbow injuries include bursitis, a fluid build-up in tissue behind the elbow, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, and inflammation in the elbow tendons known as Tennis or golfer’s elbow. Despite the name, only a small percentage of cases of Tennis and golfer’s elbow are linked to these activities. Rather, they are brought on by overuse and can affect anyone.
While most everyone will experience fleeting pain in the shoulder or elbow at some point during their lives, pain that doesn’t go away after a few weeks of rest should be examined by an orthopedic specialist.
“We have numerous treatments available for these problems,” said Dr. Sandoval. “They include medications, injections, physical therapy, and even surgery for the more severe injuries.” Dr. Sandoval also reports there are exciting new experimental treatments that may help the body heal itself which includes platelet rich plasma.
Dr. Stephen D. Sandoval, Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Orthopedic Sports Medicine by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, practices general orthopedics with special interest in sports medicine, arthroscopy, as well as knee and shoulder surgery. He has been serving the North Texas community since 2008.