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November 12, 2018

Shoulder Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain


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The shoulder has a wide and versatile range of motion. When something goes wrong with our shoulder, it hampers our ability to move freely and can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

The shoulder is made up of multiple tendons and muscles that work together to allow a wide range of motion for our arm? Thanks to these muscles and tendons, we can easily scratch our back or throw a ball, but all that can easily change when someone experiences shoulder pain.

Pain can come from everything from a serious tear to just sleeping on it the wrong way, either way shoulder pain can be a substantial nuisance in day to day life.

If you’re currently experiencing discomfort but not sure why, or you’re looking for ways to avoid the common causes of shoulder pain, here are some things to look out for:

Rotator cuff tendinitis, or tendonitis, affects the tendons and muscles that help move your shoulder joint. If you have tendinitis, it means that your tendons are inflamed or irritated. Rotator cuff tendinitis is also called impingement syndrome.

This condition usually occurs over time. It can be the result of keeping your shoulder in one position for a while, sleeping on your shoulder every night, or participating in activities that require lifting your arm over your head.

Athletes playing sports that require lifting their arm over their head commonly develop rotator cuff tendinitis. This is why the condition may also be referred to as:

  • Swimmer’s shoulder

  • Pitcher’s shoulder

  • Tennis shoulder

Sometimes rotator cuff tendinitis can occur without any known cause. Most people with rotator cuff tendinitis are able to regain full function of the shoulder without any pain.


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Sometimes shoulder pain is the result of injury to another location in your body, usually the neck or bicep. This is known as referred pain. Referred pain generally doesn’t get worse when you move your shoulder.

Other causes of shoulder pain include several forms of arthritis, torn cartilage, or a torn rotator cuff. Swelling of the bursa sacs (which protect the shoulder) or tendons can also cause pain. Some people develop bone spurs, which are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, sporadically or ongoing, please make an appointment at health plus physical therapy center in Edison, NJ. Our experienced certified physical therapists at Health Plus Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation center will work with you to make your life pain free and provide you the best treatment options for your specific needs.

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