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Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

(And How to Get Lasting Relief)

September 15, 2021

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

(And How to Get Lasting Relief)

September 15, 2021

Are you having trouble reaching and lifting? Maybe your shoulder throbs at night, causing you to toss and turn?

If so, you’re not alone. Upwards of 70% of the population will experience shoulder pain during their life.1 Luckily, there are great treatment options for preventing, fixing, and even curing shoulder pain.

While some solutions require surgery, most can get lasting relief and resume normal activities without operating, taking pain medications, or receiving injections.


There’s also a widely held belief that imaging, like x-rays and MRI’s, is needed before receiving treatment for a shoulder injury. People will often say, “I think I need an MRI to know what’s going on before trying anything.”

However, research has routinely proven that this is not true.  

Take rotator cuff tears, for example. A 2013 study found that 15.2% of people in their 60’s had a rotator cuff tear upon MRI. Of those with a tear, two-thirds had no complaints of shoulder pain.

What does this mean?

Even if you have been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear or another shoulder injury, you can feel better and live everyday life with a conservative approach to treatment.

So why does your shoulder hurt?

Most shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome, osteoarthritis, and tendinitis, develop from imbalances at the shoulder and spine.

This video can help you better understand:

Without proper strength or flexibility, the arm becomes overworked and begins to break down.

The key to fixing shoulder injuries and getting lasting relief requires you to fix the imbalances.

Here’s where to start:

  • Strengthen the muscles around the shoulder blade to prevent rubbing and pinching of the rotator cuff
  • Strengthen the rotator cuff to allow for proper movement and stability at the shoulder
  • Improve flexibility in the midback to allow the entire arm to move in sync
  • Stretch the chest wall to fix posture imbalances that cause lasting shoulder and neck pain

The takeaway is that lasting relief and prevention of shoulder pain are possible. You don’t have to live a life avoiding positions and activities — even if you’ve been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, labral tear, osteoarthritis, or other shoulder-related injuries.

Focus on the items mentioned above for at least a month to get your shoulder moving and working better. 

Want our help?

Our team of Physical & Occupational Therapists can help you identify what’s causing your shoulder pain and what to do to get your life back.

Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is required, and with flexible appointments, you can find an appointment fast that works with your schedule.

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