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Pain in the shoulder can disturb range of motion, disrupt your daily activities, and cause loss of mobility in the afflicted arm. As with any medical injury or condition, proper treatment of shoulder pain relies on an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the pain. Here are some of the common causes of shoulder pain, along with signs that you should seek medical attention.
Bursitis or Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
This is the most common cause of shoulder pain. Either the tendons or the bursa in the shoulder are inflamed.
Rotator Cuff Tear
This painful condition occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff separate from the bone.
This condition leads to a very stiff shoulder joint and is also known as adhesive capsulitis.
Often caused by a traumatic injury, instability can cause the joint to be loose, increasing the likelihood of sustaining more dislocations in the future.
Shoulder arthritis is less common than arthritis of the hip or knee, but if it is severe enough, it could require replacement of the joint.
You should consult a shoulder specialist if:
- You are unable to use your arm or carry objects
- Your pain occurs at night or while resting
- Your pain persists beyond a few days
- You are unable to raise the arm
- You notice bruising or significant swelling around the joint or on the arm
- You notice signs of infection such as redness, warmth, or fever
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