Do You Know What Is Causing That Pain in Your Shoulder?

Why physical rehab is important

You wouldn’t treat foot pain with just ice if you knew that several bones were broken, just as you wouldn’t treat a headache with just aspirin if you knew that the cause was linked to a virus. Even though shoulder pain may not seem serious enough that it requires an official diagnosis, you will be better served in finding treatment for shoulder pain if the root cause is first identified. Here are several common causes of shoulder pain, each of which might call for a different treatment plan.


No, there is no official condition called “painfulitis,” but maybe there should be. The truth is, there are several “itis” conditions that could be behind shoulder pain. They include:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis

Bursitis is an inflammation and swelling of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs within the joints of your shoulder, and elsewhere in your body. They reduce friction, and cushion bones and soft tissues. Tendinitis is a similar condition that affects tendons in the shoulder. Both of these conditions can be caused due to excessive, or improper use, and both are typically associated with components of the rotator cuff. This is why, if you have one of these two conditions, rotating your shoulder for sports, to get dressed, or to reach above your head, can be extremely difficult and painful. Arthritis in the shoulder is sometimes better known as osteoarthritis, and is also an inflammation that is created by wear and tear, although it can also exist as a result of infection.

Fractures, Breaks and Tears

Acute injuries are typically behind a tendon tear, or a fracture, although wear and tear over time can also result in an eventual breakage. When a tendon tears, it might actually split into two pieces. A shoulder fracture can be very complicated, and involve several other bones, including the collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone. Fractures, breaks and tears should receive immediate medical attention.


If your shoulder becomes dislocated, it might not always look as though your entire arm is out of the socket. You could experience a partial dislocation, called a subluxation. Dislocations are the result of loose, or torn tissues in the shoulder. Raising your arm may cause pain, as well as unsteadiness in a case of dislocation. Unfortunately, left untreated, chronic dislocations (either partial or complete) can increase the risk of later experiencing arthritis in the shoulder.

Naturally, with so many potential causes, treatment for shoulder pain can also vary. A fracture may require time and rest to heal, whereas arthritis may require ongoing care and prescription medications. Surgical correction may be required in other cases where torn tissues won’t naturally mend. Some chiropractors can lend their expertise to identifying the cause of your shoulder pain, even though most may specialize in low back strain, or neck pain. The prescribed treatment for shoulder pain will ultimately depend on the underlying issue, so be sure to seek medical attention when shoulder pain is affecting your day-to-day comfort and mobility. Find more.

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