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Shoulder Pain

There are many different causes of shoulder pain. Pain can be associated with an injury, or can be present without any specific recognizable cause. The shoulder is a complex region with a great amount of mobility. All this mobility makes the shoulder joint less stable than other joints in the body. Due to this, there are numerous soft tissue structures including ligaments and muscles that all act on the shoulder complex to produce stable movement. The shoulder complex also consists of 4 articulations or joints involving the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula, clavicle, sternum, and rib cage which all move together precisely to produce the full range of shoulder motion.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis/tendinopathy

  • Other muscle Tendonitis/tendinopathy

  • Muscle Strains/Tears

  • Adhesive Capsulitis/Frozen Shoulder

  • Other Joint Hypomobility

  • Arthritis/Degeneration

  • Labral Injuries/Tears

  • Nerve Injuries

  • Bursitis

  • Joint Dislocation

  • Fracture

  • Poor Posture

  • Referral from the cervical spine or other area of the body


How can we help?

Shoulder pain can be caused by any one or combination of muscles, joints, ligaments, labrum, or bursa. Physical Therapists’ perform an extensive physical examination including screening for other medical conditions to determine the cause or contributing factors to your shoulder pain. We then work with you to develop a plan of care to help improve your pain and function. If you are having shoulder pain, feel free to reach out to us to set up an appointment with one of our experienced Doctors of Physical Therapy at Healthwise Physical Therapy. 


*Serious medical problems such as heart attack can also cause sudden severe left shoulder pain that is not provoked by an injury. Sometimes the pain can travel to the neck, jaw, down the arm, or across the chest. Call 911 or go to the hospital if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have a history of cardiac problems, or the symptoms are associated with other systemic symptoms such as shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, or sweating. 

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