Shoulder Pain: 5 Common Causes and Treatment Options 

Many health conditions may affect the shoulders, but most cases of shoulder pain are due to a joint and surrounding muscles and tendons problem. The shoulder is made up of two interconnected bones. The humerus (long bone in the arm) rests on top of the ball-shaped humeral head. The humerus is held together by a socket called a glenoid. If you or someone you know is experiencing shoulder pain, it is one of the following conditions. These include Repetitive Strain Injury, Shoulder Bursitis, Rotator Cuff Tear, Calcific Tendonitis, and Osteoarthritis.  

Below are discussed the five common causes of shoulder pain in detail:  

Repetitive Strain Injury  

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a common disorder affecting the upper and lower body. The tissues affected by repetitive strain injury will gradually become worn out and develop small tears or signs of degeneration. Symptoms of RSI range from a mild ache to a sharp pain that interferes with the person’s ability to work. Stress, cold temperatures, and vibrating equipment are known to worsen symptoms. A physician may prescribe chronic shoulder pain treatment or certain pain meds for a shoulder injury to help the patient cope with the symptoms of RSI.  

Shoulder Bursitis  

Shoulder bursitis can be caused by various factors, including overuse and injury. If not properly treated, the condition can lead to painful swelling. It can also be characterized by popping and clicking sounds and can increase in intensity gradually or suddenly. It can last several days or recur and may also be accompanied by redness and fever. Shoulder pain treatment for bursitis usually begins with reducing inflammation. It may include anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Sometimes an injection of corticosteroid is necessary to alleviate the pain and get some relief from shoulder pain.  

Rotator Cuff Tear  

The most common reason people visit a doctor for a rotator cuff tear is pain that prevents them from sleeping well. The pain associated with rotator cuff disease typically begins as a sudden, sharp pain accompanied by weakness and loss of strength in the shoulder. This can be accompanied by stiffness and difficulty performing repetitive motions, like lifting the arm. While a torn rotator cuff is unlikely to heal without surgery, most patients do get some relief from pain. Chronic shoulder pain treatment can include steroid injections and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  

Calcific Tendonitis  

The symptoms of calcific tendonitis include pain in the shoulder and arm that may even extend to the elbow. Severe cases can even prevent an individual from sleeping at night. Shoulder tendonitis treatment may involve physical therapy or medications. This condition occurs when calcium deposits form on the soft tissues in the shoulder, causing inflammation. If left untreated, calcific tendonitis can progress to rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulders. Although frozen shoulder treatment may not be necessary for the early stages, it can help speed the healing process.  


Shoulder pain is a common symptom of osteoarthritis. It can be felt at any time, especially when you lift things. This pain is often worse when you move your shoulder and may radiate down into your arm and wrist. It may even be severe enough to prevent you from performing routine tasks. Shoulder osteoarthritis may be a result of a previous injury or surgery, or it may be the result of damaged cartilage. If you’ve been experiencing pain in your shoulder, it’s time to see a doctor for a reliable shoulder pain treatment and get some relief for shoulder blade pain.  

Shoulder Pain Treatment  

There are several ways to treat shoulder pain, including ice therapy, massage, and surgery. You may also seek medical advice if you have a condition affecting the rotator cuff, which is a group of tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. In some cases, shoulder pain is caused by a different problem elsewhere in your body, such as an upper back or neck condition. Your doctor will likely recommend pain meds for a shoulder injury or chronic shoulder pain treatment for this condition separately.  

Author Bio  

Robert Drake has been the lead Marketing Manager at Discover Optimal Healthcare, an integrated physical and regenerative medicine center with medical, physical therapy, and chiropractic departments for our patients. He has been dedicated to offering the absolute best quality of services for your health to restore your well-being fully.