Sore Shoulders in Golfers
This winter I have been experiencing pain in my left shoulder. The pain is not in the joint, but is rather on the outside of the shoulder starting at the top and radiating down about four inches. There is also a very sore spot just under the skin in the center of my shoulder.
Is there a problem with a muscle, tendon, or the joint? I had an X-ray a year ago and was diagnosed with arthritis. I'm hoping to get some help before golf season starts.
Dr. Nikhil N. Verma:
Shoulder pain is commonly felt along the anterior or lateral aspect of your arm from the top of the shoulder, extending sometimes down to the elbow region. It is uncommon for the pain to extend below the elbow level, however. It sounds as if your discomfort falls within this area. This pain is most commonly due to inflammation or irritation around the rotator cuff tendon, and may indicate a rotator cuff tear if there is loss of strength.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to provide a full recommendation without evaluating your shoulder. That being said, we most commonly recommend an initial course of conservative management. This involves ice and oral anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen or Naproxen), a course of physical therapy and, in selected cases, a cortisone injection into the shoulder.
If your pain does not respond, or if there is significant weakness in the arm, an MRI scan may be required.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the professional advice of your physician, nor to be a complete description of every aspect of a condition, nor a complete list of possible side effects of any medication. Decisions concerning your treatment should be based on your own health care provider's evaluation of your personal health history and current condition. Consult your physician before following any of the suggestions on this Web site. All articles on this Web site represent the personal opinions of the individual authors and should not be construed as official policy of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.