What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Pain in the shoulder joint can cause significant disability because we use our arms frequently throughout the day to complete our daily activities and communicate. Some shoulder conditions, such as frozen shoulder or shoulder arthritis, may lead to pain if the shoulder joint becomes too stiff. This limits the ability to reach overhead, dress, sleep, and lift objects without discomfort. Alternately, too much flexibility of the shoulder can cause the joint to painfully slip out of place with activity, as is the case with shoulder dislocation or a labral tear. Repetitive activities may strain the shoulder, leading to tendinitis or bursitis. Unfortunately, trauma or a fall can lead to broken bones or a rotator cuff tear, which may be managed with surgery or with physical therapy depending on many factors. Despite the variety of possible causes for shoulder pain, physical therapy is often helpful for reducing pain and improving daily function.
Symptoms of Shoulder Pain
- Pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulder, mid back, or upper arm
- Reduced neck or shoulder flexibility
- Weakness in the affected arm or difficulty raising the arm without help
- Popping/clicking of the shoulder joint
- Feeling like the shoulder joint may go out of place
- Difficulty reaching overhead
- Difficulty reaching behind the back