Shoulder Pain Causes, Treatments and Preventions

Shoulder problems including pain, are one of the more common reasons for physician visits for musculoskeletal symptoms. The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. However, it is an unstable joint because of the range of motion allowed. This instability increases the likelihood of joint injury, often leading to a degenerative process in which tissues break down and no longer function well.

Shoulder pain may be localized or may be deferred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Increased mobility of the shoulder joint comes at the potential expense of joint stability. Therefore anyone can experience shoulder problems. Active young people, especially children and athletes often develop shoulder injuries. After the age of 25, many individuals develop shoulder pain from the wear and tear of routine activities. Individuals who reach middle age, and use their shoulders frequently in their specific occupation are particularly susceptible to problems. The shoulder joint is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the body. In a typical case of a dislocated shoulder, a strong force that pulls the shoulder outward (abduction) or extreme rotation of the joint pops the ball of the humerus out of the shoulder socket. Dislocation commonly occurs when there is a backward pull on the arm that either catches the muscles unprepared to resist or overwhelms the muscles.

Causes and Signs

ABC Physical Therapy will help you to know the causes and signs of shoulder pain. The most common cause of shoulder pain and neck pain is injury to the soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments within these structures. This can occur from whiplash or other injury to these areas.

The shoulder can dislocate either forward, backward, or downward. Not only does the arm appear out of position when the shoulder dislocates, but the dislocation also produces pain. Muscle spasms may increase the intensity of pain. Swelling, numbness, weakness, and bruising are likely to develop. Problems seen with a dislocated shoulder are tearing of the ligaments or tendons reinforcing the joint capsule and, less commonly, nerve damage. Treatment of these conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your problem. Some signs that you should be seen by a physical therapist or doctor include:

  • Inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Injury that causes deformity of the joint
  • Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Inability to raise the arm
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth


In our Physical Therapy Center, our physical therapist has the treatment for: Frozen Shoulder, Rotator Cuff Pain, Strain, weakness, stiffness.

At ABC Physical Therapy, physical therapists take you through techniques that will reduce pain and increase mobility and strength, Teach you how to do the exercises at home. For many shoulder conditions, they can help you recover strength and function as well as speed the healing process. If you have surgery, following a physician-supervised physical therapy plan after the procedure is the best way to help the surgery be successful — and speed your return to the activities you love. Physical therapists also work with patients whose shoulder conditions do not require surgery.