The search for the cause of shoulder pain usually begins with the selected imaging test – X-ray (especially after an injury) or ultrasound (which is very helpful in imaging the soft tissues around the joint). If necessary, other tests (e.g. magnetic resonance imaging) are performed. If inflammatory joint disease is suspected, laboratory tests should be performed (eg ESR, CRP, morphology, RF, aCCP, uric acid – the doctor will decide on the selection of tests). If there is fluid in the joint, the doctor may suggest a joint puncture in order to decompress it, assess the nature of the synovial fluid and possibly administer the drug intra-articular.
How is shoulder pain treated?
The basic method of treating shoulder pain associated with its mechanical damage is rehabilitation, only occasionally there are indications for surgical treatment. The so-called blockages consisting in injecting a drug (corticosteroid, local anesthetic) into the area causing the symptoms (e.g. into the subacromial bursa) Oral medications (paracetamol, NSAIDs, weak opioids) can be used as an adjunct, but remember that they should not be taken chronically. In the case of inflammatory diseases of the shoulder joint, the rheumatologist should decide on treatment.