What’s Causing Your Shoulder Pain? 3 Common Reasons Why Your Shoulder Hurts

Shoulder Pain

What’s Causing Your Shoulder Pain? 3 Common Reasons Why Your Shoulder Hurts

The shoulder is an important part of your body for several different sports. It is used to make a free throw, swing a club, serve a tennis ball, or pass a football for the winning touchdown. If your shoulder becomes injured, it could greatly impact your physical performance. Common injuries and conditions (such as frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, or a rotator cuff tear) can place drastic limits on your life. Fortunately, physiotherapy can help by providing natural and non-invasive pain relief. For more information on how our treatments can help with your shoulder pain, call NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness in Winnipeg, MB today!

Are these conditions causing your shoulder pain?

The shoulder is an incredibly flexible part of the body, due to its complex arrangement of bones, cartilage, soft tissues, and friction-reducing sacs known as “bursae.” When any part of this complex and delicate system becomes damaged, the entire shoulder can experience pain. Some of the most common conditions resulting in shoulder pain include:

  • Frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder can occur if the shoulder has experienced prolonged immobilization, such as being in a sling following an injury or surgical repair. When the shoulder doesn’t move for extended periods of time, the connective tissues within it can become thick and stiff. Anyone can be affected by frozen shoulder, but diabetics have a higher risk of developing it.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions your joints begins to diminish, due to “wear and tear.” This can happen either as a result of old age or excessive overuse. The extreme demands of athletic training, competitive sports or a previous injury can hasten this process, as well. When the cartilage wears down, the bones begin to rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
  • Rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles that allow your shoulder joint to rotate in all directions. The rotator cuff can become damaged from excessive repetitive motions, such as those in swimming, tennis, baseball, or golf, causing micro-tears in the tissue. The injury can become worse with time if left untreated, causing the damage to accumulate, and the pain and inflammation to worsen. Immediate tears are also possible, which can result in severe pain.

How can I treat these conditions?

Physiotherapy is a safe and effective way to treat shoulder pain. It can provide relief, improve shoulder function, and may even prevent the need for invasive surgery. At your first appointment, your physiotherapist will evaluate your pain patterns, range of motion, medical records, and lifestyle habits in order to determine the best treatment plan for you. Afterward, a personalized combination of passive and active therapies will be created for the needs of your condition. Your treatment plan may include, but is not limited to:

  • Moist heat exercises, to boost circulation and ease inflammation.
  • Doorway stretches, lawnmower pulls, reverse fly exercises with light weights, and side-lying external rotation exercises with light dumbbells. These will restore strength to a damaged rotator cuff.
  • Pendulum stretches, cross-body reaches, armpit stretches, and fingertip walks. These will relieve the stiffness of a frozen shoulder.
  • A combination of shoulder stretches, light aerobics, and shoulder-strengthening exercises. These will enhance blood flow to the shoulder and help manage the pain of osteoarthritis.
  • Passive techniques, such as massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, or other non-invasive methods. These will relieve pain and promote healing.

If your shoulder pain has been limiting you from achieving your physical goals, contact NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness today. We’ll help you get back on track to living the active life you want, free from pain!


Common Causes of Shoulder Pain and How Physical Therapy Can Help

Your shoulder is the most flexible and movable joint in your body, consisting of several bones, muscles, joints and tendons. This means there are several ways the shoulder can become injured and cause pain. There are many causes of shoulder pain and steps you can take to eliminate the discomfort. Physiotherapy is an effective way of treating several types of shoulder pain. Call NRG Athletes Physiotherapy to find out how working with an experienced physiotherapist can help ease your shoulder pain.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Sometimes, a sudden injury can occur that causes shoulder pain. Other times, repetitive motions can gradually cause joints, tendons and muscles in the shoulder area to hurt. Physiotherapy can treat several specific conditions that may be contributing to the pain in your shoulder. A physiotherapist can create a customized program to specifically meet your needs.

Torn Cartilage

A torn cartilage can produce a number of painful symptoms. These include limited range of motion, decreased strength and clicking sensations when you’re moving your arm. You may also experience pain when moving your arm in certain positions. physiotherapy can provide pain relief if you’re suffering from a torn cartilage.


Tendonitis is an irritated or inflamed tendon. This condition can occur in a variety of locations throughout the body. Tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder and jumper’s knee are all specific types of tendonitis. Pain is often dull and achy. There is sometimes swelling and tenderness as well. A physiotherapist can treat different types of tendonitis.

Sprains and Strains

Basic sprains and strains can cause ongoing shoulder pain that makes it difficult to perform daily activities. A sprain is when a ligament is stretched or torn. A strain involves a tendon or muscle that is stretched or torn. Minor sprains and strains can sometimes be iced at home and will eventually heal on their own. Those that are more severe will often require physiotherapy.


Bursitis, or joint inflammation, often occurs in areas of the body that are used in the same repetitive motions. It specifically affects the fluid-filled sacs that surround and cushion the tendons, muscles and bones. Symptoms can include stiffness, achiness and the area appearing red or swollen. You’ll want to try physiotherapy to ease your painful symptoms.

Frozen Shoulder

This is a painful condition that gradually worsens and then will normally resolve itself in a few years. In the meantime, frozen shoulder can produce ongoing pain and stiffness. A physiotherapist can provide treatment options to address this condition.


There are several types of joint diseases that are considered as arthritis. Two of the most common include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between your bones breaks down and the bones begin to rub together. Physiotherapy can ease your pain and improve mobility.

How Physiotherapy Can Help

A physiotherapist can provide pain relief for a variety of conditions while also improving flexibility and range of motion. A trained physiotherapist can use cold or heat therapy to ease pain and increase mobility. They often implement different types of manual therapy. physiotherapy could include kneading and massaging specific joints, tendons and muscles in the shoulder area. Sometimes, a physiotherapist can teach you a series of exercises that you’ll be able to do at home that can provide pain relief while your shoulder is healing. Other techniques used might include aqua therapy, ultrasound or electrical nerve stimulation.

Whatever type of pain you’re experiencing, a trained physiotherapist can create a program to treat your particular condition. Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA today to schedule a consultation with one of our physiotherapists.

How Good Posture Can Prevent Shoulder Impingement

Typically, shoulder impingement is caused by repetitive motions. Weight lifters, tennis players, painters and construction workers are susceptible to shoulder impingement. At the same time, shoulder impingement can be caused by daily activities like driving, reading, working and cooking. The postures during these activities can affect the amount of subacromion space in the shoulders. The shoulders have three bones that are attacked by muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff. When the shoulders are raised, the space between the acromion and the rotator cuff narrows. The rotator cuff and acromion can actually rub against the tendons and cause shoulder impingement. Those with shoulder impingement can have difficulty lifting their arm above the head or even putting on a coat. Left untreated, it can cause a tear in the rotator cuff. Good posture can help prevent shoulder impingement.

How Good Posture Avoids Shoulder Impingement

With good posture, there is no misalignment of the shoulder blade to throw off proper scapulohumeral rhythm. It also keeps the muscles around the upper back, shoulder and chest flexible. There’s no tightening of the trapezius muscle. Muscles tighten or stretch with poor posture. Overtime, this muscle imbalance leads to injury or muscle pain.

A Guide to Good Posture

Sitting, standing and sleeping in the right position leads to good body function and helps prevent shoulder impingement. Follow these tips:

  • When sitting, keep your head straight forward and don’t let it tilt down. Sit with your knees slightly lower than your hips. Keep both feet flat on the floor.
  • When standing, keep your shoulders back and aligned. Wear quality shoes for support and slightly bend your knees lessen pressure.
  • When sleeping, use pillows to minimize spinal curves. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs for better support.

If you’re suffering from shoulder impingement, a physiotherapist can be a lifesaver. A physiotherapist will use both passive and active modalities to treat shoulder impingement. Hands-on treatment and stretching exercises will be used to help restore range of motion and shoulder biomechanics. Heat and ice and ultrasound may be used to enhance healing, reduce inflammation and lessen pain. Generally, it may take four to six weeks to get full function back. A physiotherapist will also assess your workstation and what activities you do. They will suggest changes to avoid further problems.

If you are struggling with pain due to shoulder impingement, please contact NRG Atheletes Therapy Fitness today. We’ll get you on the road to recovery.