Shoulder Pain: What Causes It And How To Stop The Pain

If your shoulder hurts when you move your arm in a certain way, you are not alone. Shoulder pain is not only one of the most common types of pain, but often one of the most excruciating. As we age, the likelihood of a damaged shoulder joint increases, so it is worth learning about causes and treatments. As with many musculoskeletal problems, physical therapy can bring pain relief and improve shoulder mobility.

The information below is for education purpose only. Talk to your doctor if you have spinal pain.

What can cause shoulder pain without injury?

Many people discover that quite suddenly and for no apparent reason their shoulder has started to ache. This usually happens when you reach for something behind your back, above your head, or to one side. Shoulder pain often only affects one of your shoulders and can be so painful as to prevent you sleeping properly.

Physiotherapist giving physical therapy to elderly man suffering from shoulder pain

The most common causes are injuries to, or tears in, four muscles and their tendons around the shoulder joint. These are known as rotator cuff injuries or tears and include conditions such as tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons).

Another common cause of shoulder pain is osteoarthritis, which occurs when cartilage becomes damaged. Osteoarthritis is associated with aches and pains in the back of the shoulder. These may worsen as you age, and many with this condition have stiff shoulders which can be painful to move.

How do I get my shoulder to stop hurting?

Depending on your diagnosis, various treatment options can alleviate pain or reduce swellings. Some treatments involve physical or occupational therapy, while others may see you wearing a sling or shoulder immobilizer. In the most serious cases your doctor may recommend surgery.

For milder cases, your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. For more severe cases of shoulder pain, he or she may recommend stronger medication in the form of corticosteroids.

Minor aches and pains can be treated at home by applying ice packs to the affected area. Be sure not to apply ice directly to the skin as it can cause skin burn. Resting the shoulder and reducing repetitive shoulder movements often helps stop your shoulder hurting.

When should I worry about shoulder pain?

Start worrying if the shoulder pain persists, gets worse over time, or if you feel lasting tenderness around the joint. See a doctor immediately if you develop a fever, or if pain comes on suddenly. This could indicate heart trouble or a heart attack.

Fairview Rehab and Nursing Home prides itself on its ability to manage, treat and help patients recover from shoulder problems. Our inpatient and outpatient rehab therapies for spinal pain, including physical therapy, are very popular in Queens NY. If you suffer from back pain, shoulder pain, finding a therapy that help with speedy recovery is crucial.

Don’t hesitate to call us or walk in if you would like to find out more about services and therapies. We are here to answer any questions and concerns you may have. Let us know what you like to know about the therapy we offer.