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What Causes Shoulder and Arm Pain?

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Blog

arm and shoulder pain

Shoulder and arm pain can be incredibly uncomfortable and can make even the most basic everyday activities a hassle. There’s a thin line between the shoulder and arm issues that can be treated with a couple of days rest and a shoulder or arm injury that requires professional assistance. It’s important to know what causes shoulder and arm pain to properly understand what’s happening with your body and whether or not you need professional assistance. 

Do You Need to See A Doctor?

Certain shoulder and arm pains can be reduced simply by proper rest and application of ice and heat. However, there are injuries that require professional assistance to properly heal. If you have recently worked out or participated in physical activity, you are more than likely experiencing soreness. However, here are some common shoulder injuries that may require professional assistance to properly heal:


Your shoulder may dislocate if it was pulled back too hard or rotated too far. When this happens your arm might pop out of the socket. Dislocation is often met with a popping sound as soon as it happens. You will feel weakness and pain in your shoulder and you may also experience swelling, numbness and bruising. 


A shoulder separation can occur during a hard fall or blow tears the ligaments holding your shoulder blade and collarbone together. The joint that holds these two together is called the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. A shoulder separation is met with a bump on the top of your shoulder as well as pain and numbness. 


A shoulder fracture can happen after taking a hard fall or a hit to the shoulder. The most common shoulder fractures occur at the clavicle (collarbone) and the humerus (arm bone closest to the shoulder). If you have experienced a fracture, you will feel a tremendous amount of pain as well as bruising and swelling. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is an injury that is common among athletes and people who actively move their shoulders. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold your arm in place. The rotator cuff is what you use when you go to lift your arm. You can damage your rotator cuff with overuse. It also begins to wear down as you get older. With a torn rotator cuff, you may experience pain when lifting things and hear a crackling sound when moving.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that can affect any joint including the shoulders. It is a degenerative joint disease that can cause pain and stiffness. The cartilage between bones begins to break down causing the bones to rub together. As you can imagine, this makes everyday activities painful. 

Heart Attack

Shoulder pain can also be a side effect of heart attacks. If your shoulder pain is met with shortness of breath and chest pains, you need to seek medical assistance immediately. 

If you think your shoulder pain may be tied to any of these reasons, seek professional assistance. Surgery and rehab can get your shoulder back to 100% in no time. Often times surgery isn’t necessary, simply rehab and rest.

Signs You Should See a Doctor for Arm Pain

Much like shoulder pain, there is arm pain that only requires rest and some heat and ice. However, there are pains that may require further assistance. Here are some arm pains that you should get checked out:

Broken Bones

Much like shoulder pain, arm pain can be caused by broken or fractured bones. If you notice extreme pain or swelling and bruising after physical activity, it could be because of a broken bone in your arm. Seeing a doctor will ensure that your bone heals properly so you can use it like you normally do. 

Strains or Sprains

Strains are caused by injuries to your muscles while sprains are caused by injuries to your ligaments. These injuries are often caused by too much stress caused by physical activities such as weight lifting. Strains and sprains are often met with pain, swelling, bruising and muscle spasms. Both will typically heal on their own but severe strains may cause professional assistance. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by doing the same movements over and over with your wrist. This injury is common in people who work a job that requires a lot of typing or play a lot of video games. Symptoms include numbness, tingling weakness, and pain. 


Tendinitis occurs when your tendons in your shoulder or arm become inflamed. Tendons connect muscles to their bones. Typically, you feel pain in the joint where tendinitis occurs. It can be caused by an injury or overuse. 

Chiropractic Care Can Ease Pain and Relax Muscles

An easy way to ease pain and to prevent avoidable injuries is with chiropractic care. injuries. Our chiropractic care goes a long way in your overall wellbeing.  Our team here at Rise Chiropractic and Acupuncture in Jacksonville, FL works hard to help you. Contact us today for an appointment. 

Chiropractic care can help with back pain, migraines, neck pain, herniated disks and more. It is a great alternative to over the counter medicine that can be addictive with a huge list of negative side effects.

Are you suffering from a sports injury, back pain, or an auto accident? Did you know that chiropractic treatment can help?

Get in touch with Dr. Dave Klosterman at Rise Chiropractic and Acupuncture today!