Other Shoulder Conditions

Other Shoulder Conditions

Other Common Shoulder Problems Include Sprains, Strains, and Bursitis

Shoulder arthritis, rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder, and fractures are among the most frequent shoulder injuries that patients seek professional treatment for. However, there are many other common shoulder problems, including rotator cuff strains and sprains, bursitis, and dislocation. The most minor shoulder problems often heal on their own without the need for medical attention, but other issues can worsen if they don’t receive proper care. 

This is why most doctors advise caution and a professional diagnosis for any shoulder pain or mobility problems that don’t improve in a short period of time. To help you understand the potential causes and treatments for these common shoulder problems, we’re happy to share the following guide. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our representatives if you’d like to learn more or have any questions. 

Causes and Types of Shoulder Problems

The joints in our body have to be flexible enough to enable movement but strong enough to withstand large amounts of stress. This combination of mobility and heavy loads means that joint injuries are very common, including the shoulder. Every time we lift a heavy object, swing a racquet or club, or perform repetitive motions at work, we’re putting some amount of stress on the shoulder.

Shoulder problems that result in pain and other symptoms can include:

  • Rotator cuff strains and sprains: The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles and tendons that attach the arm to the shoulder socket. This soft tissue can very easily become strained or sprained due to an acute injury or overuse. Not treating these minor injuries can potentially lead to chronic tendinitis or serious tears.
  • Shoulder dislocation or detachment: Falling or receiving a strong pull can cause the upper arm to become dislocated from the shoulder socket. In severe cases, the rotator cuff tendons can become completely detached from the shoulder. 
  • Shoulder impingement: Repetitive or unnatural motions may cause the soft tissue of the rotator cuff to become trapped in the shoulder blade. The result can be pain, swelling, and a lost range of motion.
  • Bursitis of the shoulder: The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that help keep joints lubricated. Strenuous movements and injuries can irritate the shoulder bursae and cause pain and inflammation known as bursitis. 



For most common shoulder problems such as strains, sprains, and bursitis, a course of basic treatments, including rest, over-the-counter medication, and hot and/or cold compression therapy can help manage symptoms while the injury heals. 

For serious problems, or if symptoms don’t improve in a short period of time, additional treatments can be recommended:

  • Physical therapy: Working with a therapist can help to strengthen the shoulder and improve functional mobility, working to both manage symptoms and prevent future injury.
  • Therapeutic injections: If there is serious inflammation in the shoulder due to a condition like bursitis, a pain management injection of a corticosteroid can help reduce pain and swelling for weeks at a time. This can be particularly helpful when symptoms are too severe to complete a physical therapy program. 
  • Surgical procedures: Surgery can range from procedures to remove a small amount of damaged tissue to full shoulder replacements. Due to advances in medical technology and surgical technique, shoulder surgeries can very often be performed on a minimally invasive outpatient basis. This can help shorten the recovery time and allow patients to return home on the same day of surgery. 

Symptoms of Shoulder Problems and Diagnosis

Specific symptoms will vary depending on which common shoulder problem is present, although many of these issues share symptoms. 

  • Localized pain and inflammation, both at rest and while moving
  • Inability to move your shoulder or restricted range of motion
  • Visible swelling
  • Cracks, pops, and grinding sensations

Patients should never self-diagnose and treat a persistent shoulder problem. To avoid worsening an injury or it not healing correctly, always see a qualified medical professional. 

When meeting with a doctor to diagnose shoulder pain and other symptoms, patients should come prepared to fully discuss symptoms, daily activities, and causes or triggers for problems. Physicians should review medical history and ask if any family members have a history of shoulder problems. 

Next, he or she will perform a physical examination that includes testing range of motion and identifying sources of pain. Diagnostic imagery, including X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be required to confirm a specific diagnosis.

Get expert shoulder help from BEST Health System

If you are dealing with any number of common shoulder problems, the team at BEST Health System is here to provide assistance. Contact us today and we’ll help you learn more about our highly skilled clinical team, our state-of-the-art facilities, and our wide assortment of therapeutic options to relieve shoulder pain and restore your quality of life. 

If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.

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