3 Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

3 Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Weakness, stiffness, and the inability to move shoulders can make carrying out the simplest daily tasks difficult. Although shoulder pain can be caused by a host of reasons (such as injury, excess workout, arthritis, and even heart attack), there are 3 major causes. These 3 causes—rotator cuff injuries, rotator cuff tears, and osteoarthritis—are behind most of the shoulder pain complaints in the world.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Your shoulder joint is surrounded by 4 rotator muscles and corresponding tendons, called the rotator cuff muscles. This group of muscles connects the upper arm to the shoulder blade. Most importantly, sacs of lubricating fluid in this region help decrease friction produced when bones, tendons, and ligaments move. Naturally, injuries to the rotator cuff muscles and the sacs can lead to stiffness in the shoulders.

Common rotator cuff injuries include tendonitis and bursitis. Tendonitis is accompanied by inflamed tendons, whereas bursitis occurs when the sacs (called the bursae) become swollen. Excessive use of the upper arm region are the usual suspects, during activities including yoga, tennis, and wall painting.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Pain in shoulders at night is almost always due to one reason: rotator cuff tears. Other than night time, this pain is most acute when you attempt to lift your arms above your shoulders.

The pain is caused by tears in the rotator cuff tendon. Frequent lifting of arms above the shoulders usually causes rotator cuff tears in physically intensive tasks, such as plumbing. Proper rest to the arm, icepacks, and avoiding extensive physical activity are the standard course of action in case of rotator cuff tears.

Rotator Cuff Tears


Bones have a softer cushioning material between them, known as the cartilage, which sustains damage when it comes to osteoarthritis. The cartilage slowly deteriorates, exposing rough bone ends without the mediator between them. Osteoarthritis begins with an aching in the hind regions of your shoulder and back. Stiffness in the shoulder region then follows, making the patient unable to reach their backs with their hands.

The most common musculoskeletal disorder in the U.S., osteoarthritis, develops gradually, being a degenerative disease. For some, it can be an old injury to the shoulders that sets it off. For most people, however, it’s just old age and the wear and tear that accompanies it.

Have You Been Experiencing Shoulder Pain?

If so, then you aren’t alone. Shoulder pain is a common complaint, with an annual incidence of 14.7 per every 1000 patients. Proper care and timely medical care lead are standard courses of action.

If you’re looking for a physical therapist near you in Houston, you’ve come to the right place. Our physical therapy is the best and offers immense relief in shoulder pain. Contact us if your shoulder pain is a frequent occurrence.