What You Need to Know About Shoulder Pain
First understand that if you are experiencing shoulder pain following an injury and the pain is accompanied by an inability to move the joint, bruising, or a misshapen shoulder, you should call the doctor immediately; it is most likely a broken bone or dislocation.
Likewise, if you are a woman of childbearing age, and the shoulder pain is accompanied by sudden pain in the lower abdomen, and your menstrual period is late four weeks or more, call the doctor because you might be suffering Ectopic pregnancy—a pregnancy developing outside the uterus.
Shoulder pain, or pain in any other joint after a recent illness, sore throat, or skin infection, when the joint is red, warm, swollen and accompanied by a fever may indicate the possibility of rheumatic fever following a streptococcal infection.
Sudden pain without fever may be caused by several conditions including gout or bursitis. Stiffness and severe pain indicates inflammation, which may result from a frozen shoulder.
Shoulder pain following an injury, when accompanied by uncomfortable movement and a normal appearance, usually indicates a pulled or torn muscle, a strain or sprain. In all cases if the pain is problematic see your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory complication of Group A streptococcal infection that affects many parts of the body, especially the joints and the heart. Strep infections are contagious, but rheumatic fever is not. Strep throat is an example of a streptococcal infection. Strep throat is a common infection and inflammation of the pharynx by streptococcal bacteria. It is contagious and one out of four family members usually catches it within 2 to 7 days after exposure. You should call your doctor if you have symptoms of strep throat.
Rheumatic fever is caused by a preceding strep infection such as strep throat and the symptoms usually occur one to six weeks after the infection. Rheumatic fever is probably an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies that are meant to attack the strep bacteria also turn against the tissues of the body. It most often affects children between the ages of 4 and 18. Call your doctor if your child has symptoms of rheumatic fever or if any of these symptoms occur following a strep infection:
Swelling of legs or back
Shortness of breath
Vomiting or diarrhea
Severe abdominal pain
Fever of 101 F or higher
Rheumatic fever is usually curable with treatment. In some cases, rheumatic fever may damage the heart valves. A damaged valve can be replaced by surgery. Only in rare cases is rheumatic fever fatal with treatment.