Shoulder Health 101: When to Consult a Surgeon

Sometimes we make excuses for our pain. I must have slept wrong, I overdid it at the gym today, or I should have asked for help painting that room. You take Tylenol or Aleve and think it will improve, but then it doesn’t. How long will you suffer until you really do something about the pain? Shoulder health 101: when to consult a surgeon.

Standard Initial Care

Since our shoulder joint is one of the most used joints in our body, it is easily affected. Because of that, it can interfere with many normal everyday activities. Wear and tear in such a joint can cause pain for weeks or months.

No matter where it hurts, we know to apply RICE, that is Rest the area, apply Ice, Compression, and Elevate when possible. Doing this at home can usually reduce pain and any inflammation. 

When Should You See a Shoulder Surgeon?

If the pain becomes severe or lasts for more than a few weeks, it is time to see an orthopedic specialist like shoulder surgeon Samuel Koo, MD, MPH in Kirkland.

Other reasons to consult a surgeon are as follows.

When the Pain Gets Worse

You expected the pain to lessen, but instead it seems to be getting worse. Now is the time to schedule an appointment to see an orthopedic specialist. When you let something go on too long, it can make any treatment more complicated.

Everyday Tasks Are More Difficult

As time passes, you may find it more difficult to do even little things. Brushing your hair, lifting your child or grandchild, gardening, and carrying groceries to the car are all simple tasks that should not hurt.

Range of Motion Is Now Affected

Even taking OTC medications is not helping. Now you are noticing you can’t move your arm and shoulder like you did before, and it’s getting worse. Reaching out for something or reaching overhead is too painful.

You Are Starting to Give Up Daily Pleasures

At this point you have tried everything. You have reached a point where your daily life is affected in a big way. Forget picking up a grandchild, playing ball with your own little one, swimming and other sports like golf. These are all off the table.

No one should live with pain. It’s not normal, and why continue to suffer when help is available?

Contact Dr. Samuel Koo at (425) 823-4000 to discover what non-surgical (or surgical) treatment options can relieve your pain and get you back to enjoying life.