Shoulder Injury symptoms

  • Pain when lifting the arm to the side or out in front
  • Pain when sleeping on the shoulder
  • Pain with pushing or pulling
  • Inability to move the shoulder through its full range of motion
  • Pain or restricted movement when reaching for the safety belt


If you have a job, or play a sport which requires repetitive shoulder movements, you may be at risk for a potential shoulder injury.

request appointment

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain


Your rotator cuff connects your shoulder blade to the upper part of your arm bone or humerus. The tendons which connect the rotator cuff to the humerus run underneath the upper part of the scapula bone (acromion). When you raise your arm above 90 degrees, the space between these tendons and the acromion decreases. When this space is decreased, the acromion may rub against the bursa and tendons causing irritation. Performing repeated overhead activity puts you at risk for shoulder impingement. Common symptoms include experiencing pain with these overhead activities and having limited ability to reach behind your back.

Frozen Shoulder


Your rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles which help support your shoulder. These include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. These muscles attach the scapula to the upper part of the arm bone or humerus. Injury to the rotator cuff may occur as a result of trauma like a fall, or slowly through repetitive activities and overuse resulting in a strain, or a partial to complete tear to one or more of these muscles. Symptoms include experiencing pain and weakness when lifting as well as difficulty raising your arm over your head.

Shoulder Instability


Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint with the ball of the upper arm bone setting in the socket of the shoulder blade. It is held in place by ligaments (glenoid labrum), the capsule, and by the muscles of the deltoid and rotator cuff. Instability in the shoulder occurs when these are stretched as a result of an injury or overuse. Symptoms include pain, aching and even the feeling that your shoulder is out of place.

Rotator Cuff Injury


Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a condition that restricts mobility in the shoulder. The shoulder is surrounded by thick tissue called the capsule. This tissue can tighten and scar, making your ability to move your arm difficult. This can occur as the result of trauma, or after a period of shoulder inactivity. There is no known cause of this condition. Risk factors include age, with 40-60 being more at risk, gender with women twice as likely as men, or previous shoulder surgery. Symptoms include a dull aching pain, and the inability to move the shoulder through its range of motion.

Shoulder Injury Falling


A sprain or separation of the AC (acromioclavicular) joint commonly occurs as the result of trauma like a fall. The collar (clavicle) bone and upper part of the shoulder blade (scapula) form the AC joint. When the ligaments which hold these two bones together are stretched or even torn, a sprain or separation occurs. If there is a complete tear in these ligaments, a small bump might display where the clavicle has pulled up away from the shoulder. Symptoms include pain experienced with lifting, pulling and/ or overhead activities.

Shoulder Arthritis


The shoulder socket (glenoid fossa) is where the upper part of the arm bone (humerus) inserts. The ball of the humerus and the upper part of the scapula (acromion) are covered with cartilage. The cartilage allows the shoulder to move freely through its range of motion. When this cartilage is injured or wears away as the result of overuse, arthritis may occur. Common symptoms include aching, stiffness and pain.

Shoulder Pain Sports

Now you have a few tips to help you manage your shoulder injury and some guidance on possibly causes. It is always best to seek the advice of a physical therapist or another healthcare professional when an injury occurs.

The physical therapists at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers are highly trained and able to assess your condition quickly and safely. Being pain free and able to live your life with no physical limitations is so important. Our goal is to get you back to loving your life!

request appointment