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Shoulder Pain When Lifting Arm: Expert Insights and Treatment


Shoulder pain is a common complaint among many individuals, but when it specifically occurs during the act of lifting the arm, it can be particularly concerning. This type of pain can hinder daily activities, from reaching for a shelf to throwing a ball.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain When Lifting Arm

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Description: This is an inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder. It’s often caused by repetitive overhead activities or wear and tear over time.

Symptoms: Sharp pain at the top and outside of the shoulder, which worsens when lifting the arm or at night.

Shoulder Impingement

Description: This occurs when the shoulder blade puts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when the arm is lifted.

Symptoms: Aching pain, which becomes sharper when trying to reach behind the back or lift the arm overhead.

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Description: The shoulder capsule thickens and tightens, restricting its movement.

Symptoms: Gradual increase in pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion.

Shoulder Bursitis

Description: Inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that helps reduce friction in the shoulder joint.

Symptoms: Pain on the outside or top of the shoulder, swelling, and redness.

Prevention and Management

Regular Exercise: Strengthening the shoulder muscles can provide better support and reduce the risk of injuries.

Proper Technique: Whether it’s during sports or daily activities, using the correct form can prevent undue strain on the shoulder.

Rest and Recovery: If you start to feel pain, it’s essential to give your shoulder a break. Continuous strain can exacerbate the issue.

Treatment Options

Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises can help restore mobility and strength.

Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.

Surgery: In severe cases or when conservative treatments don’t work, surgical intervention might be necessary.

Take Action Against Shoulder Pain Today!

Experiencing shoulder pain when lifting the arm can be a sign of various underlying conditions. It’s crucial to understand the potential causes and seek appropriate treatment. At Performance Sports Medicine Institute, we’re dedicated to diagnosing and addressing shoulder issues, ensuring our patients can lift their arms without pain and get back to their daily routines.

Reach out to us today and embark on your journey to a pain-free life.

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