The shoulder is a common location for injuries and conditions, including sports injuries, that lead to persistent pain. In fact, it impacts millions of Americans.
If you have shoulder pain, knowing that many others also experience it probably won’t make you feel any better. But you can feel good knowing that because shoulder pain is common, it can be diagnosed and treated.
At Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C. of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, our sports medicine and primary care providers have extensive experience identifying the causes of shoulder pain and designing customized treatment plans aimed at relieving your pain.
Common causes of shoulder pain
In this blog, we would like to tell you about eight common causes of shoulder pain and introduce you to some treatment options available for pain relief.
There are several kinds of arthritis. The one most commonly associated with shoulder pain is osteoarthritis, which occurs when joints wear down over time as a result of everyday wear-and-tear. In addition to pain, shoulder osteoarthritis can restrict your range of motion.
#2: Bone spurs
Bone spurs develop when excess bone grows around your joints. They can occur as a result of injuries, daily wear-and-tear, or medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, that cause degeneration of your joints.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae — small, fluid-filled sacs within your joints. Bursitis of the shoulder joints can cause pain with the slightest movements, such as brushing your hair.
#4: Frozen shoulder
This condition is aptly named because it causes your shoulder to freeze up and prevents you from being able to move it freely. It occurs when adhesions (abnormal tissue) builds up within your shoulder joint.
#5: Rotator cuff injury
Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles within your shoulder that anchor your arm in place and allow you to lift it over your head. The cuff can become damaged as a result of a sports injury or overuse.
#6: Shoulder impingement
Shoulder impingement can occur when part of your shoulder blade presses on the soft tissue around the shoulder. It can cause pain, interfere with lifting your arm, and contribute to other shoulder conditions, such as tendinitis or bursitis.
#7: Shoulder instability
Shoulder instability can happen when the structure at the top of the upper arm bone comes partially or completely out of the shoulder socket. It may happen repeatedly when the soft tissue around the shoulder is injured.
Tendinitis occurs when the tendon that connects a bone to a muscle becomes inflamed. Tendinitis is a common sports injury.
Shoulder pain treatments
To determine the best treatment plan for your shoulder pain, our providers perform a full evaluation. Once we have a diagnosis, we outline your treatment options, which may include one or more of the following:
Physical therapy offers a successful treatment approach for many shoulder injuries. It incorporates various types of all-natural therapies that reduce your pain, build your strength, improve your flexibility, expand your range of motion, and support your body’s healing process.
Our team may recommend treating your shoulder pain with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or we may suggest injection therapy, which delivers anti-inflammatory medication directly to the area where you have pain.
These may include activity modification, immobilization of your shoulder with a sling, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, or complementary therapies such as massage or dry needling.
Find relief for your chronic shoulder pain
Don’t put up with shoulder pain any longer. To schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine doctors, call our office at (609) 248-6520 or request an appointment online.