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The Top 5 Common Causes of Shoulder pain

holding shoulder in pain

Howdy, everyone! I’m Dr. B, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share some valuable insights with you today. Shoulder pain is a common complaint that many of my patients face, and it’s a condition that can significantly impact your daily life. In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the top five (NON-Spinal-related) causes of shoulder pain that I frequently see in my office. If you’re experiencing shoulder discomfort, it’s crucial to identify the root cause so that we can work together to address it effectively.

Shoulder pain diagram showing causes of rotator cuff pain

Rotator Cuff Injuries

One of the leading causes of shoulder pain that I encounter is rotator cuff injuries. Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, providing stability and allowing for a wide range of motion. Overuse, trauma, or age-related wear and tear can lead to tears or inflammation in the rotator cuff. This can result in sharp or aching pain, especially when lifting or moving the arm.

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. It often develops gradually and can severely limit your range of motion. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear, but it can be linked to underlying health conditions, prolonged immobility, or previous shoulder injuries.

Shoulder impingement with a diagram showing the range of motion

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become pinched or compressed between the bones in the shoulder joint. This often happens during repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing a baseball or painting a ceiling. It can lead to inflammation, pain, a sensation of weakness in the shoulder, and is most commonly seen with an sharp intense pain while raising your arm between 60 – 120 degrees (See image below).

“Our results support the current view that shoulder pain is the result of many factors: including occupational and individual factors….physical work with a heavy load, awkward work postures, mental stress, and obesity were the [leading]risk factors…”

Miranda H, Viikari-Juntura E, Martikainen R, et al
A prospective study of work related factors and physical exercise as predictors of shoulder pain
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001;58:528-534.


a diagram of Osteoarthritis (OA) in a shoulder

Osteoarthritis (often times labeled as “OA”) is a degenerative joint condition that can affect various joints in the body, including the shoulder. Over time, the protective cartilage in the shoulder joint wears down, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. This condition is more common in older individuals, but it can also result from previous injuries.


Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa sac, which is a small fluid-filled pouch that cushions and lubricates the shoulder joint. Repetitive motion, trauma, or infection can lead to bursitis, causing localized pain and tenderness in the shoulder area.

A diagram of shoulder bursitis

In conclusion, shoulder pain can have various causes, but identifying the underlying issue is the first step toward finding relief. At Advanced Health Chiropractic, I am committed to helping you regain pain-free mobility and improve your overall quality of life. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, please don’t hesitate to call and schedule an appointment with me.

Together, we can develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and get you on the road to recovery. Don’t let shoulder pain hold you back from living your best life.

Best Regards,

A Profile picture of Dr. B

Dr. Brandon Pounds DC, CES, PES is the owner of Advanced Health Chiropractic. He is a board certified and licensed chiropractor in Texas. Click on the link to view his Curriculum Vitae

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