Shoulder Pain Specialist

Rio Grande Pain Team

Pain Medicine located in Weslaco, TX & McAllen, TX

Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. It’s also vulnerable to degenerative diseases and injuries that lead to intense pain. Dennis Slavin, MD at Rio Grande Pain Team specializes in interventional pain management, providing treatments that can relieve your shoulder pain when conservative therapies fail. To learn more about your treatment options, call the office in Weslaco, Texas or book an appointment online.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes shoulder pain?

Your shoulder joint is stabilized by a group of four muscles and their tendons, collectively called the rotator cuff. These muscles hold your upper arm bone in place, while also allowing the full range of arm motion.

Between everyday wear-and-tear and the stress that work or athletic activities place on your shoulder, the rotator cuff muscles and shoulder joint are highly susceptible to injuries and degenerative damage.

Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Trigger points (muscle knots)
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Inflammatory problems (tendonitis, bursitis)

Your shoulder has two joints, one where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade, and the other where your upper arm joins the shoulder blade. Arthritis can develop in both joints.

Will I develop symptoms other than shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain typically leads to limited arm movement. As you stop moving your arm, the problem worsens because muscles and tendons tighten. Then when you attempt to use your arm again, it’s more painful.

How is shoulder pain treated?

The first line of treatment for shoulder pain includes modifying your activities and physical therapy. The next line of treatment is Dr. Slavin’s specialty: injections that provide relief because they go directly to the source of your pain.

As an expert in interventional pain management, Dr. Slavin provides targeted treatments such as:

Trigger point injections

Trigger points are painful knots that develop in muscles and the connective tissues surrounding muscles. Dr. Slavin locates the trigger point and injects medications directly into the knot, making the muscle relax.

Trigger point injections may contain an anesthetic that provides immediate relief, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and provide longer lasting pain relief, or both.

Joint injection

When your pain is in one of the shoulder joints, Dr. Slavin can inject the same mixture of medications directly into the damaged area that’s causing your pain.

Precise needle placement at the source of the pain is achieved using ultrasound during the procedure. Ultrasound allows Dr. Slavin to see the tissues in your joint and to guide the needle to the right spot.

Trigger point and joint injections are done in the office, and your recovery following the injection is quick.

If you suffer from ongoing shoulder pain, call Rio Grande Pain Team or book an appointment online.