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5 Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Have you been struggling with shoulder pain? If so, you’re not alone. Our shoulders take a lot of abuse in life and even simple actions such as reaching towards a desk or steering a car can cause us problems.

And if you’re an active person, a painful shoulder can feel like the end of the world. Don’t despair! Read on to learn some common causes of shoulder pain and how you can treat them and get back to normal.

#1. Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles in the shoulder that work together to provide motion and stability. A rotator cuff injury can occur from repetitive motion, aging, or direct trauma.

If you have rotator cuff tendonitis, you may find that simple movements like putting on your shoes or reaching for something behind you become impossible without experiencing intense pain. Pain may also radiate down the side of the arm toward the elbow.

#2. Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder usually develops over time — it’s not the result of a specific injury or incident. The shoulder joint is surrounded by a capsule of tissue, normally lined with lubricating fluid. If you have a frozen shoulder, this capsule gets inflamed and thickens, restricting your range of motion.

The condition often starts with mild pain and stiffness, mostly at night. This can lead to soreness between both shoulders and the spine (known as scapular pain). As the condition progresses, stiffness and pain increase, sometimes making everyday activities like getting dressed difficult.

#3. Dislocated Shoulder

A dislocated shoulder is one of the most common injuries doctors treat. This injury occurs when the head of your humerus (upper arm bone) pops out of your glenoid cavity (in your shoulder blade).

The most common cause of a dislocated shoulder is physical trauma, such as falling on an outstretched arm or a direct impact to the shoulder. A dislocated shoulder can be very painful and may require
surgery.

#4. Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that occurs from the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Typically, it affects joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. However, arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the shoulder joint.

Arthritis causes shoulder pain when there is inflammation that leads to pain and stiffness in the joint. So, when you move your arm, it can cause extreme discomfort.

#5. Shoulder Bursitis

Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) between your tendons and bones. Bursitis can develop in any bursa in your body, including several dozen in your shoulder joint. As a cushion against bone, a bursa reduces friction and allows free movement between tissues of the body — tendons, muscles, skin, and bone — during shoulder movements.

Shoulder bursitis can develop suddenly following an injury or accident that causes a direct blow to the shoulder or fall onto an outstretched hand. It can also develop gradually due to overuse during repetitive
overhead arm movements or prolonged pressure on the tip of your shoulder.

Treating Shoulder Pain with Physiotherapy

If you’ve been having shoulder pain, you might want to consider seeing a physiotherapist for common causes of shoulder pain. Physiotherapists are trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes joints and muscles. They can help you manage your pain using manual therapy, exercise prescription, and education on how to prevent future problems. Their training includes understanding how the body is affected by injury, and they also study how things like age, work, lifestyle habits, and disease can affect your health overall.

If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, please contact us for an assessment. We’ll diagnose your condition and get you back on track quickly with a customized treatment plan.