Many people hurt their shoulders but are quite hesitant to schedule an appointment with their ortho. Here are the top reasons not to delay . . .
1. Your shoulder was working normally before the injury and now it definitely is not.
This is especially true if the injury was sudden and involved a lot of energy (think: falling off a ladder or slipping on wet pavement and landing on your arm
If you have to use your other arm to lift the injured shoulder, then things are definitely not working correctly and you should consider seeing your orthopedic surgeon.
2. You can't sleep at night because of the pain
Nocturnal pain is not normal and is a really good reason to schedule a visit with your orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation.
3. The pain has not improved despite a period of rest, icing, and oral antiinflammatories
If your shoulder pain has been bothering you for a few weeks and you really haven't noticed any improvement with a solid period of time spent resting, icing, and taking an over-the-counter antiinflammatory then you should consider making an appointment.
4. You are avoiding doing the activities and sports that you love because your shoulder hurts too much
If this is the case, your symptoms are considered to be severe and it really is worth getting your shoulder checked out by your doctor.
5. You have tried physical therapy and your shoulder pain hasn't improved
Typically mild sprains and overuse injuries will improve noticeably with directed physical therapy; if this isn't the case for your shoulder, you should consider being evaluated by your orthopedic surgeon.
6. You have significant weakness in your shoulder
This could be caused by a torn tendon in your shoulder (a rotator cuff tear), shoulder arthritis, or other structural problem and needs to be evaluated sooner rather than later.
Weakness that is allowed to persist for long periods of time can lead to permanent loss of strength.
7. Your family or friends are concerned about your shoulder, even though you may not be.
Many times if you develop shoulder pain and/or weakness over time, you may not realize how significant your symptoms may have become, but it is very apparent to the people who care about you.
If your loved ones repeatedly express concern about your shoulder symptoms, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your ortho doctor to get checked out.