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Your shoulder is your body’s most flexible joint, and it’s comprised of a series of muscles, cartilage, and bones that make free-flowing movement possible. The glenohumeral joint and the acromioclavicular (AC) joint are the two primary smaller joints that make up the entire shoulder, connecting the humerus bone in the arm to the clavicle, or collarbone.

Surrounding these key joints are important muscles like the rotator cuff tendons, the deltoid, and the trapezius. When an issue occurs with the shoulder that causes pain, the cause can be muscular, cartilaginous, or skeletal in nature. It’s important to recognize the specific symptoms of your shoulder pain and pursue effective treatment as a result of it.

Typical Symptoms of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can manifest itself in many different ways. A few of the most common symptoms reported are:

  • Restricted movement ability due to tightness or swelling.
  • A tenderness when the muscles around it are touched.
  • Generalized pain in one of the joints.
  • An infrequent stabbing or throbbing sensation.
  • Soreness or general achiness.
  • Pain that radiates up toward and into the neck muscles.

Underlying Causes of Shoulder Discomfort

Outlined below are several conditions associated with pain in the shoulder.

A degenerative condition that commonly affects the joint. With consistent shoulder usage over time, this condition may gradually or suddenly come on.

An affliction to the collection of nerves that run from your spine to your arm. This injury happens if the nerves become constricted or extended unnaturally.

Severe enough injuries to the collarbone, humerus, or shoulder blade (scalpula) can cause cracks to form in bone tissue.

This happens when the rotator cuff tendons become ripped. This injury is commonly seen in athletes whose sports require lots of throwing.

Occurs when any of the shoulder muscles are pushed beyond the point of typical movement or ability.

Shoulder tendons that become inflamed result in tendonitis. This condition usually affects either the tendons in the bicep muscle or the rotator cuff (without a complete tear).

A dislocated shoulder can happen due to internal or external injury. This injury is characterized by the humerus popping out of its socket.

A condition affecting the bursae in the shoulder (when they become inflamed and swollen).

Best Ways to Treat Pain in the Shoulder

For shoulder pain or discomfort, several treatments exist. At home, you can use a combination of rest, therapy, and heat/ice to help nurse your shoulder back to health. Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help you manage pain and swelling in the meantime as well.

In a clinical setting, a medical professional may administer a steroid injection to reduce inflammation, prescribe you medication, provide a sling to help stabilize and support the shoulder, or even recommend surgery if the injury is severe enough. 

If you’re experiencing chronic or severe shoulder pain, reach out to us today at Magic Valley Orthopedics to schedule an appointment. Our specialists are trained to diagnose and provide treatment options for a variety of shoulder conditions, so you can get back to doing what you love with as little pain as possible.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated providers.