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This is Why You Have Pain When You Move Your Shoulder

Of course, if you tried to throw a football for the first time in who knows how long, you have a pretty good idea of why you have shoulder pain. But sometimes you feel pain when you move your shoulder and you don’t know what you did to cause it.

Two things might have caused your “phantom” pain. First, you may have put stress on the shoulder joint without realizing it. Second, one or more conditions may have developed in your shoulder over time. 

3 Causes of Pain When You Move Your Shoulder

Your shoulder is capable of a wider range of motion than most of your other joints. Shoulder pain doesn’t just hurt, it can limit your range of motion and your daily activities. Here are some of the reasons why you feel pain when you use your shoulder.

  1. Torn Rotator Cuff – If you’re a sports fan, you may have heard about athletes, especially baseball pitchers, being sidelined by a rotator cuff tear. In your shoulder, the top of your upper arm bone (humerus), is connected to your shoulder blade (scapula) by a group of muscles and tendons commonly called the rotator cuff. A full or partial tear of the tendons is a torn rotator cuff. You can stress the rotator cuff by stretching your arm up, over your head, like when you’re painting the living room, or throwing a baseball.

  2. Impingement – Bursa sacs are located in the rotator cuff area to pad and lubricate the motion of your shoulder joint. Sometimes the space between your collar bone (clavicle) and upper arm bone can narrow. When it does, it can pinch the bursa sacs and rotator cuff to trigger your shoulder pain. Impingement often happens from overuse of the shoulder.

  3. Frozen Shoulder – If your shoulder is immobilized for a period of time, for example following surgery, the connective tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint can thicken and tighten. When that happens, any movement in the shoulder can be difficult and painful.

You can get expert advice and treatment for all types of shoulder pain at our Markham physiotherapy clinic.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “Chiropractor or Physiotherapist: Who Should You See?” 


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