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Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano

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Baylor Health Care System > Physicians & Locations > Plano > About > Health Briefs > When Shoulder Pain Gets Serious

When Shoulder Pain Gets Serious 


Know when it’s time to get checked

If you’ve had shoulder pain for three months or more, it’s time to seek help. “If you’re waking up at night, or the pain affects your job or activities,or you’re cranky because you’re in pain, I’d get checked out,” says Robert Berry, DO, medical director of sports medicine at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano.

Dr. Berry says he often sees people with pain caused by:

  • Shoulder bursitis or impingement
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Arthritis

“We have several treatment options. People shouldn’t be afraid of what they might hear from the doctor,” he says. Treatments may start with home exercises and progress to injections and physical therapy.

If those treatments don’t work, X-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds can look more deeply for the source of the problem. Dr. Berry says ultrasound is good technology and can be performed in a doctor’s office, so if it’s indicated, there’s no need to schedule another appointment. Ultrasound is painless and performed with a handheld device that passes over your shoulder; there’s no problem with claustrophobia. 

For more complex problems, doctors can perform operations such as rotator cuff repairs and shoulder replacement surgery. Dr. Berry says that living a healthy lifestyle, quitting smoking and controlling your blood sugar if you have diabetes can help keep shoulder problems at bay.

Give Pain the Cold Shoulder

Tired of dealing with persistent shoulder pain? Get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder pain, call 1.800.4BAYLOR or search online.