Shoulder Pain Specialists in Nashville

Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics -  - Orthopedics

Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Nashville, TN & Franklin, TN

Your shoulder is a complex joint capable of an extensive range of motion, making it vulnerable to injury. If you have shoulder pain, our shoulder doctors can see you at four locations in Nashville and one in Franklin, Tennessee. Call an Elite office near you or book online today.


Shoulder Pain and Visiting a Shoulder Doctor in Nashville or Franklin, TN


What Causes Shoulder Pain? 

Patient with shoulder pain

Your shoulder is made up of the ball-and-socket joint, soft tissues, muscles, and tendons. Altogether, it's one of the most complex and mobile joints in your body, enabling you to rotate and move your arm in various directions without pain. 

You might experience shoulder pain from years of work or sports-related stressors. It’s also possible you suffered an acute trauma such as a fall or auto accident. Other types of shoulder pain might stem from tendinitis or fractures. Scapula (shoulder blade) fractures can be particularly painful.

Another problem is arthritis, most often in the form of osteoarthritis. In this condition, the articular cartilage that protects the ends of your bones wears away, allowing the bones to rub painfully together. 

One of the most common shoulder problems is dislocation, where the humerus comes partially or entirely out of its socket. 

No matter the cause, though, shoulder pain can significantly impact your quality of life. 


Should I Visit a Shoulder Specialist? 

Because of the significant role your shoulder plays, you don't want to leave any discomfort or pain untreated for long. If you've been experiencing pain for a while and it doesn't seem to be getting any better, it's important to visit a shoulder specialist as soon as possible. 

Some other signs you should visit a specialist include: 

  • Persistent pain even when you aren't moving or using your arm. 
  • Difficulty sleeping or performing your usual daily tasks. 
  • Pain that isn't responding to home treatments. 
  • Swelling, weakness, or numbness. 
  • Lumps on or near the shoulder. 


Can Shoulder Pain Cause Neck Pain? 

The shoulders and the neck are connected through nerve pathways, making it difficult for the brain to determine where the problem is occuring. This means that shoulder problems can cause neck pain and neck problems can cause shoulder pain. 
If you are experiencing shoulder pain or neck pain, it is important to seek help from an orthopedic doctor to determine the source of your pain.

What Kind of Doctor Treats Shoulder Pain? 

An orthopedic shoulder doctor can diagnose shoulder conditions and offer a treatment plan for your pain. These doctors specialize specifically in the musculoskeletal system, which makes up your bones, joints, nerves, cartilage, and muscles. 

Here at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics, we have a team of shoulder specialists who have the specialized knowledge, training, diagnostic equipment, and procedures needed to treat your shoulder pain. 


Why is Dislocation Often a Cause of Shoulder Pain? 

The positioning of your upper arm bone (humerus) and the socket (glenoid) in your shoulder blade lets you rotate your arm in a wide arc. A network of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff overlays the shoulder joint to keep the bones in place. 

Dislocation is often a problem in the shoulder more than other joints, and these types of injuries often damage the rotator cuff as well. As the head of the humerus comes out of the glenoid, it can also cause the labrum (cartilage that lines the rim of your glenoid) to tear. 

A torn glenoid is called a Bankart lesion. A similar injury is a SLAP (superior labrum anterior and posterior) tear, which affects the top part of your labrum at the attachment point of your biceps tendon. 

If you dislocate your shoulder once, you're more likely to do it again, and injuries like Bankart lesions can lead to chronic shoulder instability. 


How Are Shoulder Issues Diagnosed? 

When you schedule an appointment at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics, one of our shoulder doctors will review your symptoms and learn more about your medical history. We'll also perform a thorough physical exam to get an idea of your current range of motion and to see if you have any swelling or lumps. 

Our specialists rely on medical imaging to diagnose and come up with effective treatment plans. An X-ray will allow our specialists to see if there's any bone or joint abnormalities. Then, with an MRI, we'll be able to get a detailed look at your soft tissues. 


How Can I Prevent Shoulder Pain? 

Stretching to Prevent Shoulder Pain

Preventing shoulder pain is all about minimizing potential risk factors. Some of the ways you can accomplish this are by: 

  • Stretching before you exercise or play a sport. 
  • Keeping your body in shape and maintaining a healthy weight. 
  • Crosstraining so you don't overuse specific areas of your body. 
  • Staying active throughout the day, especially if you have a desk job. 
  • Learning how to lift heavy weights by using your legs instead of your upper body. 
  • Maintaining good posture whenever you are sitting or standing. 

If you are currently experiencing shoulder pain, be sure to rest, ice the area every couple of hours, and allow the injury to fully heal before attempting any preventive measures. 


How do Elite's Nashville Shoulder
Doctors Treat Shoulder Pain? 

Treatment for your shoulder pain varies by injury. Our shoulder doctors in Nashville and Franklin, TN are experts in their field and have access to state-of-the-art, onsite diagnostic imaging technology, including X-ray and MRI machines. 

Unless you need urgent surgery, the most common treatments for shoulder pain are likely to be:

  • Medication 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Stretching exercises 
  • Activity modification and rest 

While often these treatment methods prove successful, ultimately, some patients may require surgery. The shoulder specialists at Elite perform minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder surgery for these patients. 


What Surgery Might I Need for Shoulder Pain? 

Bankart lesion repair involves reattachment using sutures and anchors. SLAP lesion repair also involves stitching, or your surgeon may decide to remove the torn piece of labrum altogether. You might also need to undergo biceps tenodesis to treat a biceps tendon tear. 

If you have severe arthritis or irreparable damage to your shoulder joint, you might require a shoulder replacement. This is also an option for shoulder instability that isn't responding to other treatments, but in this case, you would have a reverse total shoulder replacement. 

For expert advice, visit one of our Nashville shoulder doctors today by calling or booking an appointment online. 


Schedule an Appointment With a Shoulder Orthopedic Surgeon in Tennessee 

Whether you've been experiencing acute or chronic shoulder pain, the staff at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics are dedicated to delivering unsurpassed, patient-driven care. 

With four locations in Nashville, Tennessee and one in Franklin, Tennessee, we've made it easy for you to receive the orthopedic care you need. Find a location nearest you and schedule an appointment with our specialists so you can regain your quality of life.




Our Shoulder Pain Specialists

Dr. Elrod


Dr. Moore


Dr. Dovan

Dr. Price


Dr. Samuel Crosby


Dr. Martin

Dr. Dierckman