Can a walk-in clinic help with my shoulder pain?
December 18, 2010 7:37 AM Subscribe
I have what I think is probably acute bursitis, and/or shoulder impingement syndrome and the pain has become almost unbearable. Should I go to the walk-in clinic?
This is the second time I've had this particular problem (the first time was 2 years ago), and the symptoms have progressed almost exactly the same way as they did the first time. Last time, having no idea what was wrong and being in a great deal of pain, I decided to go to the walk-in clinic over the weekend. The doctor essentially said he wasn't sure what was wrong, prescribed me some advil, and said they'd call if anything showed up on the x-ray. I think I probably started feeling better about a week after that visit.
I was never given a diagnosis, but as soon as I started feeling a twinge of pain with overhead movement a week ago, I knew exactly what was coming and started looking up my symptoms on the internet. It is almost certainly either bursitis or tendonitis, possibly both. From what I'm reading, the most common treatment for this type of problem is rest, OTC anti-inflammatory meds, and ice. I've read that you can get cortisone shots, but that this is usually a last resort if pain persists after a few weeks of rest.
I don't want to go to the clinic if they're just going to send me away with some advil, but I am in pretty severe pain. It was at its worst last night (probably the most painful experience I've ever had) and I got almost no sleep. On one hand, I'm worried that the pain I'm in means I may have damaged the tendons or rotator cuff (especially since this is the second occurrence without any initial injury or strain). On the other hand, I get the idea that walk-in clinics aren't designed for that detailed a diagnosis. I have insurance, but don't yet have a primary care physician.
Should I call around to doctors' offices on Monday, or go to the clinic today after work? Does anyone have any advice to mitigate the pain in the meantime?