Knee and Shoulder Pain: When to See Your Doctor

The knees and shoulders are two very important and active parts of the body, making them prone to all types of minor ailments. If not treated promptly and properly, minor problems can turn into major ones. Make sure you know when to seek treatment for all levels of knee and shoulder pain and how to take care of these joints.

Have you ever come back from a long walk, developed pain in your knee and wondered what to do? Realizing that your knee hurts is the easy part, but determining whether you need an orthopedic evaluation may not be as straightforward. shoulder painFor most sudden injuries to the knee, the resulting pain can be managed with a short period of anti-inflammatory medication and RICE — rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the knee cannot bear your full weight soon after the injury, a trip to the orthopedist’s office would be advised.

Chronic knee pain, such as from arthritis, can respond well to the treatments outlined above. If it does not, a doctor’s visit with X-rays is in order. Additionally, pain that is worse at night or lasts more than a few weeks without improvement should prompt a visit to the doctor.

Shoulders can be a finicky joint. Because of the many joints, tendons and muscles involved, minor injuries can frequently cause significant pain and disability. Often, shoulder pain will respond well to a short period of anti-inflammatory medication and “shoulder-friendly” activities, such as avoiding reaching about shoulder level or father back than the chest.

If your shoulder pain persists more than a few weeks, wakes you up at night or is accompanied by difficulty lifting your arm overhead, your best bet would be to see your doctor for an evaluation.

By: Evander Fogle, MD

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