First Aid for Injured Shoulder Pain
First Aid is for an injury rather than for chronic pain.
- If the shoulder is out of joint or dislocated, it must first be relocated and put back into the socket. About 25% of dislocations also involve a fracture. Get immediate professional medical care to avoid additional damage!
- Immobilize the joint by using a sling to take weight off the shoulder and prevent the arm from moving. If you don’t have a sling, you can make a temporary sling from a pillow case or towel.
- Ice the joint to reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Repeat every 2-3 hours while you are awake for the next 24-48 hours. Do not apply ice while you are asleep. Use crushed ice or frozen vegetables.
- Take pain medication – Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) are anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another option. Read the precautions.
See an Orthopedic Surgeon right away for shoulder pain. Why?
- The doctor will take images to determine exactly what is wrong and the extent of any internal injuries.
- The shoulder is a complex joint. Any damage to tendons or rotor cuff or broken bones will not heal properly without professional intervention.
- The doctor may administer an injection to help with shoulder pain, swelling and healing.
- The doctor may recommend physical therapy to increase range of motion and strengthen the surrounding muscles to prevent future injury.
Dr. Grondel can often accommodate same day appointments for shoulder pain & injuries.
Dr. Grondel is fellowship trained in shoulders – only about 2% of physicians have been fellowship trained in a specialty.
Call 702-932-9000 for an appointment.