Types of Shoulder Pain

Types of Shoulder Pain

Do you have shoulder pain, discomfort or immobility of your shoulder that is interfering with your everyday life? An estimated 70% of people are affected by shoulder pain at some point in their lifetime and if left untreated, your shoulder pain could turn into a chronic problem affecting your daily activities.

Most shoulder pain falls under four categories:

*Tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or tendon tear



*Fracture (broken bone)

So what exactly are bursitis and tendinitis? Bursa are fluid-filled sacs located in the joints of the shoulder. These sacs help reduce friction between the muscle and bone. At times the bursa may become inflamed and swollen due to excessive use of the shoulder. This swelling could be the culprit of your shoulder pain.  As well, the pain in your shoulder could also be caused from tendinitis. Slowly over time, the tendons (or cords), which connect muscle to bone, can tear due to overuse. Commonly, tendonitis occurs in the four rotator cuff tendons and one of the biceps tendons of the shoulder. Tendinitis and bursitis may occur alone or at the same time.

A more obvious cause of shoulder pain is shoulder instability that occurs when the upper arm bone dislocates out of the shoulder socket. When your shoulder muscles, tendons and ligaments no longer secure your shoulder joint to the top of your arm bone, your shoulder can “pop” out and possibly dislocate causing shoulder pain.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are other common causes of shoulder pain. Arthritis presents with swelling, pain and stiffness, which typically begin during middle age. Shoulder arthritis pain tend to progress as the condition worsens. The most common symptoms of Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid arthritis are pain with activities and a limited range of motion.

A bone fracture (crack through part or all of the bone) in the shoulder usually occurs after a major trauma to the shoulder blade, collarbone or arm bone. General findings of a broken shoulder are pain, swelling, bruising, inability to move the shoulder and ”grinding” sensations when trying to move the broken shoulder.

While these are the four most common causes of shoulder pain, less common causes of shoulder pains include tumors, infection and nerve-related problems. Through a comprehensive physical examination, your doctor will look for abnormalities in your shoulder such as muscle weakness, swelling and tenderness. X-rays may be required to look at the bones of the shoulder, joints, and muscles. Treatment for shoulder pain depends on the cause of the problem. Ice and heat pads are commonly used to treat pain. Ice is used for acute injuries where swelling is a problem. Heat treatment such as a heating pad, are used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues. Do not use heat therapy after an acute injury such as a sprain. Stretching exercises, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and cortisone injections are commonly used to treat shoulder pain yet these treatments listed may not be appropriate for your specific pain. Therefore, you should seek medial attention and advice before beginning a treatment plan. We, at Synergy Specialists Medical Group, Inc, provide exceptional services to evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage your shoulder pain and conditions.

These links may be helpful in your research of shoulder pain and discomfort:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.