4 Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Just think about all the movements you can do with your shoulders. You can throw a ball, scratch your head, and twist your arms around your back. These movements are possible because of the complexity and versatility of your shoulder joint.

These characteristics of your joint are also the reason why you’re at increased risk for developing chronic shoulder pain. Injury or disease that affects any of the structures that make up your shoulder joint can trigger inflammation, pain, and a loss of the joint’s range of motion.

At Medical Wellness Center, experienced chiropractor, Dr. James Appell, and our medical team understand how limiting persistent shoulder pain can be. They offer comprehensive care to not only ease your pain but also address its underlying cause.

Why your shoulders hurt

You may not realize how much you use your shoulders for everyday activities until moving the joint causes pain.

Acute shoulder pain that lasts less than three weeks stems from muscles strains and sprains. This type of shoulder pain is generally the result of overusing the muscles that support your shoulder joint.

When pain becomes persistent and lasts longer than six months, it may be due to an underlying injury or a disease that affect the muscles, soft tissues, or bones of your joint.

4 common causes of shoulder pain

While our Medical Wellness Group providers can help relieve your shoulder pain from all types of injuries and underlying medical conditions, the four most common problems they treat include:


Bursitis describes inflammation in the bursae of your shoulder. These fluid-filled sacs protect the tendons of the rotator cuff in your shoulder joint.

When the space where the bursae sit becomes narrowed, shoulder movements can irritate your tendons, leading to persistent inflammation, pain, and immobility in your shoulder.


Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects your joints. The main type of arthritis that affects the shoulder joint is osteoarthritis, a condition where the protective cartilage that lines the bones breaks down and wears away.

Without the cartilage, your joint bones rub together and create friction. Friction produces inflammation and pain in your shoulder joint.

Tendon injuries

Tendons are the tissues that attach muscles to your bones. Overuse injuries are the primary cause of tendon strains, and continued use of your joint can result in the tendon tearing into pieces.

Referred pain

Referred pain describes pain that occurs in another area of your body but radiates into your shoulder. Common conditions that cause referred pain in your shoulder include degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis (narrowing of your spine).

There’s hope for shoulder pain

When you can no longer function as usual because of persistent shoulder pain, Dr. Appell and the Medical Wellness team offer customized, noninvasive solutions to relieve it. Available therapies include:

Lifestyle changes and physical therapy

Based on your specific needs, you may benefit from lifestyle changes that prevent overuse of your shoulder joint and physical therapy to strengthen the structures of your joint.

Manual adjustments and ultrasound therapy

Chiropractic adjustments can ensure your spine is properly aligned to reduce referred pain in your shoulders. Ultrasound therapy is also available that uses low currents of energy to stimulate your body’s natural healing processes.

Steroid injections

When the pain in your shoulder is too great to participate in these therapies, Dr. Appell may recommend interventional steroid injections to reduce inflammation and make shoulder movement easier.

Regenerative medicine therapy

To expedite your healing process, you may be a candidate for regenerative medicine therapy that uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to stimulate your body’s production of new, healthy cells to repair damaged tissue.

You can find out more about solutions available for shoulder pain by calling our office in Columbus, Ohio, or by booking an appointment online today.

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