Shoulder Injuries: Causes, Injuries, and Treatments

Shoulder Injuries


The shoulder is made up of several joints and muscles that allow you to have a wide range of motion in your arm. It consists of your upper-arm bones (humerus), shoulder blades (scapula), and the collarbone (clavicle) meet. Each is held in place by a group of four muscles called your rotator cuff. The rotator cuff covers your humerus and lets you move and raise your arm. Since your shoulder is made up of several joints and muscles it can easily be injured.

Shoulder Injury Causes

There are many causes of shoulder injuries but the most common causes we see at our clinic Preferred Physical Therapy, AZ, are past sports injuries from playing tennis, pickleball, weakness of muscle, a pinched nerve, swimming, or an injury that happened in the past but has reappeared for no known reason.

4 Common Shoulder Injuries

Some common injuries that come from a result of these causes are dislocation, tendinitis, bursitis, muscle weakness. The 3 common injuries that are going to be discussed in this article are tendinitis, bursitis, dislocation, and instability.

Tendinitis occurs from repetitive motion or use of the tendon. Tendinitis is when there is inflammation of the tendon, which attaches the tendon to the bone. The area around the joint may be inflamed and may feel sore and tender.

For example, someone who would experience this may be a golfer, pickleball player, or swimmer. If you work on an assembly machine or work at a desk you may have more of a higher chance of getting tendinitis in your shoulder.

Watch this video to learn how to increase the range of motion in your shoulder.

Bursitis takes place when a bursa sack gets filled with excess liquid. This is located between the cushioning pad between bones and tissue in the joint. This can cause pain and affect mobility as well.

This is also the cause of repetitive motion or overuse. Reaching over the head a lot can also cause this to occur. This ongoing motion can cause rubbing and irritate and inflame the bursa. You may experience shoulder stiffness, swelling, sharp pain, pinching pain, and discomfort when sleeping on that shoulder.

Dislocation is when you can visibly see an out-of-place shoulder and you are unable to move it. It is usually also very painful. This can take place when playing a sport, a fall, or an accident. The shoulder is one of the most common joints to dislocate since it is designed to move in all sorts of ways. Physical therapy can help with aftercare, especially if you’ve had surgery and you are trying to get your mobility and strength back.

Shoulder Weakness can be an effect of an injury. After an injury or surgery, your shoulder may not be as strong as it was before the occurrence. Physical therapy is very helpful when it comes to restoring strength for any body part, especially the shoulder.

Why is Shoulder Stability Important? Click here to learn why.

How Do You Treat Shoulder Injuries?

If surgery is not needed or wanted the best treatment for injuries is actually stretching and exercises if not too painful. Resting will make the injury stiff and may cause stiffness and achy pains to persist. Stretching and light exercise can improve the range of motion and get back to the way it was before.

One way to make sure you are healing correctly is to seek help from a physical therapy clinic such as Preferred Physical Therapy. We spent one-on-one time with our patients and got to the root cause of why you may be experiencing pain.

We give you exercises and do manual therapy as well. Our therapists do not just give you exercises and leave you to do them by yourself. They monitor you the whole time and make sure you are doing the exercises correctly and explain to you why you are doing that exercise. If you want to seek help without the use of surgery and painkillers then call 623-486-3333 to learn how we can work together so you can live a pain-free life.

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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