Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Body Pain

Shoulder pain is among the most common musculoskeletal problems. Your shoulders are the most mobile joints, hence more prone to injuries, causing pain. Your shoulder joint consists of the humerus, scapula, and clavicle bones. Cartilage and bursae cushion the joint, and four tendons known as rotator cuffs allow you to move your arm. Shoulder pain Brunswick can result from injuries, medical conditions, or repetitive use. Your shoulder pain can be severe, hindering you from performing daily duties or moving your arm freely. Shoulder pain can be caused by various factors, including:


Tendonitis, also called tendinitis, is the inflammation of tendons. Tendons are cords that connect muscles to bones. Acute tendinitis can result from repetitive shoulder use, like ball throwing during sports. Degenerative conditions like arthritis can cause chronic tendinitis. The rotator cuff or biceps tendons are the common cords affected in your shoulder. Tendinitis causes mild swelling, tenderness, and a dull ache where the affected tendon attaches to a bone. Pain mostly happens when you move your shoulder.


A fracture results when a bone breaks or cracks. Shoulder fractures mainly affect the clavicle, humerus, and scapula bones. Falls, motor vehicle accidents, or sports injuries can lead to fractures. Fractures usually cause severe pain, swelling, and bruising in your shoulder. A fracture in the collarbone can lead to shoulder sagging, or you might be unable to lift your arm. Your doctor can treat a simple fracture with a sling and rest. Severe fractures may need surgery to realign broken bones.


Arthritis can cause shoulder pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can arise due to aging because of wear and tear or work or sports injuries. It develops gradually, and pain worsens over time. You may experience swelling, pain, and stiffness in your shoulder. A deep ache in your shoulder may indicate osteoarthritis. As the condition worsens, you might be unable to reach behind your back.


Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs located in the joints. They act as cushions between bones and overlying soft tissues and help minimize friction between muscles and bones. Repetitive use of your shoulder can lead to the inflammation of the bursa between the rotator cuff and part of your shoulder blade called the acromion. Pain mostly occurs when you move your shoulder.

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a painful condition where your shoulder becomes stiff and unable to move. It develops when the connective tissue in your shoulder ball and socket joint becomes thick and stiff. The problem worsens if you do not move your arm, making your shoulder feel frozen. A frozen shoulder may develop after an injury but is also common in people with diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. Exercises and stretches can help improve the range of motion in your shoulder.

Shoulder pain is any ache or discomfort in shoulder structures, including bones, cartilage, and tendons. Tendonitis, bursitis, fractures, arthritis, and frozen shoulder are the common causes of shoulder pain. Schedule an appointment at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine for shoulder pain treatment to resume your normal arm mobility. 

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