Shoulder Pain: Common Causes and How To Treat It

With 17 offices in Philadelphia and South Jersey, including King of Prussia, Paoli, Cherry Hill, and Willow Grove, PA, our top orthopedic surgeons know how difficult shoulder pain can be. It can turn everyday, menial tasks into painful activities; putting on a shirt, opening a door, even reaching for an item on the top shelf. Shoulder pain can become common as we age, can be sudden or come on gradually, and ranges from a mild inconvenience to unbearable agony.

What Causes It?

While there are a wide variety of circumstances that factor into shoulder discomfort, there are three common roots of the problem.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Repeatedly performing overhead motions can be the cause, although age is another risk factor. The pain associated with rotator cuff tears is a dull ache. 

Frozen Shoulder

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder tends to develop over time. It has three stages that can last for months and severely limit your shoulder’s mobility:

  1. Freezing stage: The shoulder stiffens and pain develops
  2. Frozen stage: Pain may decrease but stiffness gets worse
  3. Thawing stage: Range of motion begins to return to normal

Dislocated Shoulder

This occurs when your upper arm bone pops out the socket that is part of your shoulder blade. The shoulder is most susceptible to this type of injury because it is the most mobile joint. If you suspect you have a dislocated shoulder, promptly seek medical attention.

What Can I Do at Home?

If you have general, mild shoulder pain, there are a few things you can do at home to relieve it. Refrain from demanding physical activities, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, and perform mild stretches to see if the pain improves on its own. If the pain does not subside after a few weeks, it is recommended that you consult one of our experts. Check out this infographic for a few exercises you can do at home.

Infographic showing shoulder stretches to try for shoulder pain

Where Can I Seek Treatment?

If you are looking for a source of relief for your shoulder pain, count on Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder’s state-of-the-art treatment center for relief. If you are dealing with pain, request an appointment at one of our 17 offices in Philadelphia and South Jersey, including King of Prussia, Paoli, Cherry Hill, and Willow Grove, PA, to see a skilled orthopedic doctor for help finding treatment.

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