Harrisburg 618-252-5555 | Carterville 618-985-4344

Shoulder Conditions


Do you suffer from
Shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain can effect people of all walks of life, at any stage in your life. Below are possible conditions that could be the cause of your pain.

Common Shoulder Conditions

man holds his right shoulder and winces in pain at a gym

  • General Instability
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Sprain or Strain
  • Rotator Cuff Tear (partial and full tear)
  • Labrum Tear
  • Post-op Shoulder Replacement
  • Glenohumeral Arthritis
  • Scapular Winging
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
  • Baseball Related Pediatric Injuries of the Shoulder
  • Swimmers Shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
General Instability

General instability of the shoulder can be associated with the ligaments, lining, labrum are stretched or torn and allow the joint to slip out of socket to some degree. If you get the feeling of your shoulder “hanging” or feel the ball of your shoulder come out of its socket you may have some stability issues. In some instances there may be pain , limited motion, swelling an/or brusing to the injured shoulder. Some different types of shoulder instability are

  • Shoulder Dislocation and Subluxation
  • Labral Tear
  • Genetic Condition
Impingement Syndrome
  • Dull pain in the shoulder and arm
  • Pain that is worse at night
  • Weakness in the shoulder and are
Sprain or Strain

A Strain or Sprain of the shoulder in defined as a small tear in the muscle, tendons, ligaments, or labrum in the injured area. The severity of the injury can vary from a grade 1 through a grade 3. These injuries can have treatment that varies from physical therapy all the way to surgery. Sprains and strains can present themselves with the following symptoms :

  • Pain and tenderness in the front of the shoulder joint
  • Rapid swelling
  • Decreased mobility
  • Instability of the shoulder
Rotator Cuff Tear (partial and full tear)

Rotator cuff tear are when the bundle of tendons that run through the shoulder is either partially or completely torn. This typically occurs when significant force is applied to the shoulder while the arm is raised above the head or extended out in front of the body. Not all rotator cuff injuries are coupled with immediate symptoms, they may come as the injured shoulder is used over time. The main symptom that you could have either a partial or complete tear in the rotator cuff will be pain when lifting the injured arm above the head or out in front of the body.

Labrum Tear

Labrum tear can be the result of an injury or could just be a sign of aging. This injury is when the lining of the shoulder socket (the labrum) is compromised and leads to instability or dislocation in the shoulder. This injury can be seen mostly in athletes that are involved in fast paced sports that require quick snapping motions like pitchers and volleyball players. But age can play a part in this injury as well, the cartilage can weaken with time and then a traumatic event such as a fall down stairs can cause the labrum to tear.

Post-op Shoulder Replacement

Post-op shoulder replacement therapy is crucial for recovering from shoulder replacement. From regaining strength in the effected shoulder all the way to learn how to properly move your shoulder so you do not compromise the healing process and create even more future problems. You will be given a recovery schedule filled with exercises and goals. They will teach you how to complete the exercises properly and assist you when necessary so when the time comes for you to do them at home you will have the confidence and know how to do so.

Glenohumeral Arthritis

Glenohumeral Arthritis generally comes with age. It stems from diminishing cartilage in the glenohumeral joint, once the cartilage is damaged there is no padding in the joint of the shoulder. This creates bone on bone friction which can create bone spurs, which then causes there to be uneven and limited movement within the shoulder. Some symptoms you can look for would include, but are not limited to :

  • Diminishing of muscle mass in the shoulder
  • Inflammation and or tenderness of the effected area
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Gradual pain that gets worse in time
Scapular Winging

Scapular winging is when the scapular or shoulder blade protrudes out and can resemble a “wing”.  This condition is the result of nerve damage caused by repetitive motion,  an injury or surgery in the general area while correcting an unrelated issue. There are three nerves that if damaged can cause scapular winging, The long thoracic nerve, the dorsal scapular nerve, and the spinal accessory nerve. Signs you may be suffering from scapular winging are as follows :

  • Uncalled for fatigue
  • Drooping shoulder or uneven shoulder blades
  • Neck, shoulder, and/or back pain or discomfort

Bursitis is the inflammation of the Bursa. The Bursa is the fluid filled sac that acts as “padding” of the rotator cuff. When this becomes inflamed or irritated it can then cause pain when moving the shoulder and arm. It can also be accompanied with shoulder impingement and tendinitis. Bursitis can be caused by many things, but if you are suffering from Bursitis you will likely experience one or more of the following symptoms :

  • Pain that extends to the outside of the shoulder
  • Pain when moving arm against any sort of resistance
  • If you suffer from  rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, or thyroid disease
  • Limited range of motion or strength in the shoulder
  • The bursa becoming inflamed due to friction
Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis occurs when adhesions form when the shoulder capsule (the tendon that surrounds the shoulder joints) become thick and difficult to move. There is no proven cause for frozen shoulder but people (especially women) within 40 to 60 years of age, people with diabetes, or people who have not used there shoulder for any number of reason are more likely to develop this condition. Here are some symptoms you should be on the lookout for:

  • Difficulty moving your arm – with or without help
  • Pain on the outer region of the shoulder and up the arm
  • Pain and stiffness that develops slowly over the course of weeks to months
Baseball Related Pediatric Injuries of the Shoulder

Baseball related injuries of the shoulder can consist of any of the following conditions : Torn rotator cuff, Tendonitis of the shoulder, bicep and tendon tearing, labral tear, or a fracture or break in the upper arm. These injuries happen more frequently in pediatric patients due to the fact that they are still developing and their muscles and tendons more susceptible to injury. This is why adolescent players (pitchers especially) should keep a close eye on how much they are throwing so these conditions can be prevented. If your child is suffering from any of these symptoms have them seen so you can prevent long term damage.

  • Swelling or tenderness in shoulder
  • Reduced throwing strength
  • Pain lasting days after use
  • Pain when throwing
  • Less control
Swimmers Shoulder

Swimmers Shoulder can include a number of injuries all revolving around the overuse of the shoulders. This can include pain from the muscles and tendons rubbing repeatedly against the shoulder blade. If you have any of these symptoms you may need to consult your doctor to diagnose the type of swimmers shoulder you may be experiencing.

  • Loss of stability
  • Pain
  • Swelling
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Rotator cuff tendinitis in the inflammation of the tendons and muscles that help stabilize and control movement in the shoulder. When these muscles and tendons become inflamed this causes pain and discomfort when moving the shoulder. Athletes involved in swimming, tennis, pitching, volleyball or any other sport that requires a repetitive motion of the shoulder are more likely to succumb to this condition. If you are suffering from one of the following symptoms you may have Rotator Cuff Tendinitis :

  • Loss of sleep due to pain
  • Pain when making vertical movement with the effected arm
  • Stiffness or swelling in the shoulder
  • Limited range of motion or strength in the shoulder

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© Integrated Health of Southern Illinois. All rights reserved.