Causes of Shoulder Pain

The upper region of a person has advantage for adaptability instead of strength. Our arms, wrists, and hands are outstanding at all tasks, including the delicate, sensitive control of lightweight objects.

Conversely, the lower half gives our body toughness, strength, and perseverance. Albeit coming up short on the arms’ refined control, our legs can securely make the interminable, everyday tedious strolling movements without wearing out. The legs and hips contain the body’s largest bones and most grounded muscles, equipped for giving colossal lifting and locomotive power.

The separation between the upper and lower portions of the human body might be viewed as the essential explanation that endless sports injuries include the shoulders. Shoulder pain is normal in fitness and athletics. Additionally, the wounds can be either acute or chronic, brought about by overexertion. The shoulder is a complex joint associating the arm to the remainder of the body, which has the best movement scope. 

Notwithstanding the shoulder’s adaptability and movement scope, it can lift loaded weights. Furthermore, the fast, quick movements like tossing a ball or a football come under its jurisdiction. However, it is likewise inclined to injury when we fall, toss something excessively hard, or rehash a similar movement too often because of the joint’s adaptability.


  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Bruising at the shoulder
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling

The most common types of shoulder injuries that causes shoulder pain:

  • Dislocations
  • Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Labral Tears, a.k.a. SLAP Lesions
  • Bone Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Inflammation
  • Bursitis/Bone Spurs
  • Muscular Imbalances
  • Contusions/Bruising

The following are the most common causes of shoulder pain:

Rotator Cuff Injury and Impingement:

  • Rotator cuff injuries

These are the most common source of shoulder pain for individuals beyond 30 years old. Pain coming from the rotator cuff usually is one of two assortments; inflammation and tears.

  • Rotator cuff inflammation:

It is otherwise called rotator cuff tendinitis or rotator cuff tendinopathy. This happens when the muscles of the rotator sleeve become irritated, inflamed, or excruciatingly painful. It’s often brought about by the rotator cuff being caught between the humerus and a bony outcrop called the acromion process.

Shoulder Strain:

A strain is a physical injury to a muscle. In the shoulder, the deltoid, or one of the rotator cuff muscles, might be stressed. Biceps, triceps muscles, and pectoral’s strains may be felt in the shoulder area.

Shoulder Arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is the most widely recognised type of shoulder arthritis, otherwise called wear and tear arthritis. The ligament’s breakdown envelops the ends of bones by a joint. This tissue is called articular cartilage that permits the bones of a joint to glide together easily.

Labrum Tear:

Labrum tears are wounds to the ligament coating of the glenoid.

Frozen Shoulder:

Frozen shoulder has three phases. It is also called adhesive capsulitis. Moreover, the principal stage is painful when the connective tissue capsule starts to thicken. Henceforth, it gets hard to move the shoulder. In the subsequent stage, pain may improve, yet the scope of movement deteriorates. In the third stage, the scope of movement starts to improve.

Research into what was called a frozen shoulder has changed in recent years. This has also led to how this injury is treated. Restrictions in shoulder movement used to be explained by tightening of the capsule of the shoulder, an envelope of tissue that surrounds the joint. Restrictions in shoulder movement, what you may have been told was a frozen shoulder, is now thought to be caused by muscles around the shoulder going into protection mode. 

The body’s response to dysfunction of the shoulder is to protect the area. This can be seen as tightening of the shoulder muscles, which leads to increased pressure into the shoulder joint, the structures within and restrictions in movement. 

Our teams of physiotherapists at Reach Physiotherapy are up to date on the progressions in this field of research, which has completely changed the management of this very painful injury. 


  • Detailed medical history
  • Computed tomography scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • X-Ray scan

Physiotherapy Plan:

The physiotherapy program for pain includes the following:

  • Pendulum stretches, cross-body reaches, fingertip strolls, and armpit stretches to mitigate the frozen shoulder’s stiffness.
  • Doorway stretches, lawnmower pulls, and reverse fly activities. Moreover, the side-lying external pivot workouts re-establish solidarity to harmed rotator cuff segments.
  • A blend of shoulder stretches, shoulder-reinforcing/strengthening activities, and the muted high impact (aerobics) exercise for osteoarthritis manage the pain.
  • The physiotherapist may suggest massage treatment, ultrasound treatment, and other non-obtrusive methods to get that shoulder pain leveled out.


The shoulder is a magnificently complex joint. The most common causes of shoulder pain that occurs because of the injuries that a shoulder endure are rotator cuff injuries, shoulder strain, frozen shoulder, labrum tears. The physician looks for the root cause to forestall the issues. In most cases, rehabilitation at home is more appropriate for shoulder pain.


Common Causes of Shoulder Pain. (2019).

Common Shoulder Injuries for Athletes. (2014, September 29).

Shoulder Problems in Athletes. (n.d.).

Walden, M. (2020, June 01). Shoulder Pain & Shoulder Injuries – Symptoms, Causes &Treatment.

Williams, R. S., MD. (2017, September 01). Common Sports Injuries Involving the Shoulder.

* Contact Reach Physiotherapy for a list of references used for this blog content.