11 Causes of Shoulder Pain (And What to Do About It)
Shoulder pain is extremely common. It’s estimated that around 25% of all Americans over the age of 50 suffer from some kind of shoulder pain. Given the complexity of the shoulder joints, this comes as no surprise.
However, you don’t have to live with shoulder pain – as long as you understand the cause of your pain, and how Intero Chiropractic can help. Let’s take a look at the 11 most common causes of shoulder pain – and discuss your treatment options!
The Most Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain
● Bursitis – Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs present throughout the body’s joints. They act as “cushions” reducing friction between muscle and bone. Excessive shoulder use can cause these to become inflamed – causing bursitis and shoulder pain.
● Muscle strain/overuse – This is the most common cause of minor shoulder pain. Overusing a muscle in the shoulder, such as when golfing, playing tennis, or swimming, can cause serious shoulder pain.
● Rotator cuff damage – The rotator cuff is composed of multiple muscles groups that hold your shoulder and upper arm in place. Overuse and accidents are the most common causes of rotator cuff damage.
● “Frozen Shoulder” – Also known as adhesive capsulitis, this condition occurs when your shoulder’s connective tissue becomes thickened and inflamed. Over time, movements become painful, and your range of motion decreases.
● Tendinitis – Tendinitis occurs from shoulder overuse. The tendons in your shoulders can become thickened and inflamed if you are overusing your shoulders – causing pain and stiffness, as well as occasional range-of-motion issues.
● Tendon tears – The shoulder is very delicate, and it’s possible to tear a tendon without realizing it. An action as simple as reaching into the backseat of your car to grab a heavy bag or arresting a fall by placing your arms in front of you can lead to a painful tendon tear.
● Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a very common cause of shoulder pain in older active adults. Essentially, osteoarthritis is just “wear-and-tear” on your shoulder joints, caused by a lifetime of use.
● Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis can cause shoulder pain and inflammation. Approximately 65-90% of RA patients report some level of shoulder pain and stiffness.
● Impingement – Shoulder impingement occurs when a piece of connective tissue, such as a tendon, rubs against the shoulder blade. The shoulder blade “impinges” on your soft tissue when you raise your arm – causing pain and irritation, and limiting movement.
● Instability – If you have previously dislocated your shoulder, instability could be the cause of your shoulder pain. Even a partial dislocation can seriously stress the muscles and tendons, leading to pain, unsteadiness, and an increased risk of re-dislocating the shoulder.
● Fractures – Shoulder fractures are usually caused by accidents such as falls, or automotive/sports injuries. However, minor shoulder fractures may be hard to notice, especially if other issues like dislocation are present.
How Can I Treat My Shoulder Pain?
Well, that answer depends on the source of your pain! Each of the above 11 conditions requires different treatments. A minor shoulder tendon tear may simply require you to rest and minimize use – while serious fractures or rotator cuff tears could require surgery.
If you’ve been experiencing chronic shoulder pain, it’s important to find the cause – and take appropriate action to restore your life to normal! That’s why you should come to Intero Chiropractic today. Dr. Jerry Hsieh specializes in treating shoulder pain, and can help you understand the cause of your shoulder pain.
Don’t wait. Contact us now for an appointment!