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Leading Causes of Shoulder Pain

As neck and shoulder pain specialists, the team at Active Care Chiropractic & Rehabilitation knows that most shoulder pain stems from tendons in the rotator cuff of the shoulder. The rotator cuff stabilizes the joint, the most mobile in your body. 

Tendon tissue in the shoulder can become irritated with overuse or repeated motion, or the tendons themselves get trapped in the tight confines of the complex shoulder joint. There are other causes of pain involving other soft tissue. Let’s take a look at the leading causes of shoulder pain, as well as how we can help you recover. 


Osteoarthritis is the most common of the many forms of joint disorder. The cartilage covering over the rotational ends of bones starts to wear away from overuse or time. This can cause pain as well as stiffness and lost motion. 


Acting as a cushion in the space between shoulder components, the bursa sacs can swell when injured, causing shoulder pain. Depending on the type of injury, pain can come on quickly or gradually over time. 

Acute bursitis tends to start suddenly after an event or injury, while chronic bursitis, the more common type affecting the shoulder, can last for months, before subsiding and reccurring later. Chronic bursitis can lead to weakness of the shoulder and arm without treatment. 

Frozen shoulder

Also called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder features stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint, usually on one side. Without treatment, the condition will resolve, but it could take up to three years. While you may get it again in the other shoulder, it’s rare for frozen shoulder to recur in the same arm. 


As with your ankle, it’s possible to move your shoulder in such a way that its ligaments are stretched or torn. Sprains range from mild to severe, with accompanying pain and swelling. 


One of the most common sources of shoulder pain, tendinitis results from inflammation of the cords that connect muscle and bone, the tendons. Pain symptoms occur at the site of the inflammation and you may notice minor swelling and tenderness at the location. While the condition often responds to rest and home care, you may need treatment if the symptoms persist. 

Muscle strain

Strains affect muscles and their tendons, as opposed to sprains, which affect ligaments, which connect bones to bones. Also called pulled muscles, these injuries also respond well to rest and home care. 

There are many causes for shoulder pain beyond those listed here. Any pain that doesn’t show signs of improvement needs medical care to determine the type of injury and its severity. 

Contact Active Care Chiropractic & Rehabilitation for diagnosis and treatment, including cold laser therapy to jump start your shoulder’s healing process. You can book an appointment by phone or online, so schedule your visit today.

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