Shoulder pain when lifting arm

Shoulder Pain

Have you ever experienced shoulder pain when lifting your arm? The inability to easily raise your arms above your head can make many daily tasks very difficult. Reaching the top shelf at the grocery store or cleaning above the refrigerator can become a painful chore. If you have shoulder pain when lifting your arm, Armor Physical Therapy wants to help figure out what could be causing it and what you can do to treat it.

What causes shoulder pain?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that allows for more freedom of movement than almost any other joint in the body. This movement comes at the expense of stability in the joint. Because of this, there are several causes of shoulder pain when lifting your arm including:

  • Bursitis Your shoulder has a fluid-filled sac called a bursa that cushions movement in the shoulder joint. If you overuse your shoulder, the bursa sac can become inflamed. This can cause an impingement in the shoulder which can make it difficult to lift your arm.
  • Separated shoulder A separated shoulder occurs when the ligaments holding your collarbone to your shoulder blade are stretched and damaged. This is also referred to as the acromioclavicular or AC joint. In severe cases, the ligaments may be torn and could require surgery. A sudden blow to the shoulder or falling on your shoulder are likely ways you could separate your shoulder.
  • Torn rotator cuff The tendons that connect the muscle to bone in the shoulder are the rotator cuff tendons. If these tendons are torn, you may have shoulder pain when lifting your arm or you may not be able to lift your arm at all. Like bursitis, torn rotator cuffs usually occur from overuse. Pitchers and athletes who throw overhand repeatedly can develop partial or complete rotator cuff tears.

Physical therapy for shoulder pain

Because there are many different causes of shoulder pain, you want to be sure you are correctly diagnosed so that you receive the most effective treatment. Armor physical therapists are experts in treating all types of shoulder pain.

If you have recently discovered that you experience shoulder pain when lifting your arm, contact us today to set up your initial appointment to go over your treatment options.