Shoulder Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatments

Shoulder pain is a common ailment that affects people of all ages. Whether you’re an athlete, a desk worker, or someone who engages in heavy lifting, shoulder pain can significantly impact your daily life. At Foundations Health and Physical Medicine in Norway MI, we specialize in diagnosing and treating shoulder pain to help you regain your mobility and quality of life. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common causes of shoulder pain, associated symptoms, and effective treatment options.


What Are the Common Causes of Shoulder Pain?

Understanding the root cause of your shoulder pain is crucial for effective treatment. Here are some common causes:

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Injuries to this area are often caused by repetitive motion or acute trauma.


Tendinitis occurs when the tendons in your shoulder become inflamed due to overuse or injury. This condition is particularly common among athletes who engage in repetitive overhead activities.


Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. When these sacs become inflamed, it leads to bursitis.

Frozen Shoulder

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. It usually develops gradually over time.


Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can both affect the shoulder joint, leading to chronic pain and reduced mobility.


What Symptoms Are Associated with Shoulder Pain?

Identifying symptoms early can help you seek timely treatment. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain: This can range from a dull ache to sharp pain.
  • Stiffness: Difficulty moving your arm or shoulder.
  • Swelling: Inflammation around the joint.
  • Weakness: Reduced strength in the affected arm.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty performing everyday tasks like reaching overhead or behind your back.


How Can Physical Therapy Help with Shoulder Pain?

Physical therapy is one of the most effective non-surgical treatment options for shoulder pain. At Foundations Health and Physical Medicine in Norway MI, our physical therapists create personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

Strengthening Exercises

Targeted exercises can help strengthen the muscles around your shoulder joint, providing better support and reducing pain.

Stretching Routines

Stretching exercises improve flexibility and range of motion, helping you regain full functionality of your shoulder.

Manual Therapy

Hands-on techniques such as massage and mobilization can alleviate muscle tension and improve blood flow to the affected area.

Education on Proper Mechanics

Learning how to perform daily activities without straining your shoulder can prevent future injuries.


What Are Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Shoulder Pain?

While surgery may be necessary in severe cases, many people find relief through non-surgical treatments. Here are some options:

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic adjustments can realign misaligned joints and relieve pressure on nerves. This holistic approach focuses on restoring balance within your body.

Corticosteroid Injections

For more severe cases of inflammation, corticosteroid injections can offer significant relief by reducing swelling around the joint.

Hot/Cold Therapy

Applying heat or cold packs can help manage acute pain episodes by reducing inflammation or relaxing tense muscles.


Pain Relief Techniques You Can Try at Home

While professional treatments are essential for long-term relief, there are also several at-home techniques you can try:

  • Rest: Give your shoulder time to heal by avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain.
  • Ice Packs: Apply ice packs for 15-20 minutes several times a day to reduce swelling.
  • Heat Therapy: Use a heating pad or warm towel to relax stiff muscles.
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help manage mild discomfort.



Shoulder pain doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your life. By understanding its causes and symptoms, you can seek appropriate treatments that offer lasting relief. At Foundations Health and Physical Medicine in Norway MI, we provide comprehensive care tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs. Whether you’re considering physical therapy or exploring other non-surgical options like chiropractic care or medication management, our team is here to guide you every step of the way toward recovery.

If you’re struggling with persistent shoulder pain, don’t hesitate to contact us today for an evaluation. Your journey towards a pain-free life starts here!

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