Pain experienced in the shoulder can be from a problem in the shoulder itself, or from other anatomical sites.
Your shoulder is a very complex joint, and the causes of shoulder pain can be myriad. Your arm literally hangs from your shoulder, so the shoulder girdle and its stability are critical for normal arm movement. Here are just some of the things that we need to rule in — or out — as we examine your shoulder.
For starters, a very common cause of pain in the shoulder can be from a pinched nerve in the neck, either from:
A Disc Herniation
or Degenerative Disc Disease
However, pain in the shoulder can also be generated from:
a rotator cuff tear or strain,
a separated or sprained A-C joint
a bicipital tendon slip
a tear in the labrum
or even a dislocated shoulder — this last one will be obvious and you’ll know it when it happens!
As I said, you can also have pain in your shoulder because of a referred pain from an organ problem like your gallbladder. You might also have thoracic outlet syndrome, or a neuromuscular issue such as poor scapular stability, which is all too common. Guys and girls who lift weights a lot tend to overdevelop the chest versus the back muscles, and this leads to imbalances that catch up with us as we age, or as we place more demand on the joint.
We have many non- surgical, non-invasive procedures to help with shoulder pain, or pain in the shoulder coming from your neck, but the decision as to what is needed is based upon a proper evaluation, and possibly some imaging such as an MRI.