Causes of Shoulder Pains

Shoulder Pain Causes – Sprains, Strains, Torn Muscle, Ligament Damage and more

shoulder-muscles-painOne of the common causes for pain in the shoulder that I see as a chiropractor in my San Diego clinic is sprain / strain injuries. Sprain means damage to a ligament and a strain is an overstretched or torn muscle. Other shoulder pain causes include nerve pain, capsule tear, arthritis, dislocation and many others. The severity of the pain can be an indicator of the severity of the injury but not always. Once injured and inflamed, the shoulder is capable of becoming extremely painful and stiff.

Shoulder Pain Causes can be from Injuries at Work, in Sports, Auto Accidents and more…

Shoulder injuries are common in sports, work accidents, auto accidents and, yes, even with age! As with many body parts, the shoulder will weaken if it is not used, there is even a term for it, “senile degeneration”, sounds horrible doesn’t it? When not used, the shoulder muscles weaken, the joint gets sloppy, and the shoulder gets injured. It is a little more complex than that but not much! Common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff tears, impingement syndromes, pinched nerves and tendinitis.

Shoulder Pain Causes | Rotator Cuff Muscle Issues

rotator-cuff-problem-shouldI had stated earlier that shoulder muscle strains are among the most common shoulder injuries that I see as a San Diego chiropractor. The rotator cuff muscles are typically overworked and strained because they are small muscles that coordinate the rotational movements of the shoulder and have to keep pace with the large muscle groups. The most common shoulder muscle to be strained is the supraspinatus, which is the weakest and most fragile of the rotator cuff muscle group, making it susceptible to injury.

Complex but Amazing Range of Motion

Since the shoulder is a complex joint that allows for a large range of motion in many planes (how many joints can you move like your shoulder?), accurate shoulder pain diagnosis is extremely important in order to set the foundation for an effective treatment plan. If shoulder pain is diagnosed incorrectly and the treatment is not appropriate it can potentially set the patient’s recovery back by weeks if not months. Proper diagnosis is the difference between an injury that recovers quickly and one that becomes chronic.


The shoulder is a complex joint with many muscles and ligaments, which make it prone to injury. Likewise, there are many causes for shoulder pain with sprain / strain injuries of muscles and ligaments being the most common. Even though sprain / strain injuries are among the most common shoulder injuries, my experience as a chiropractor tells me that they can also be the most challenging to diagnose and treat. One of the difficulties with identifying shoulder pain causes is that patients can feel discomfort over a large area, often describing it as pain between the shoulders vs. shoulder pain specifically.

Now let’s take a look at Pain Between Shoulder Blades.

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