Shoulder Pain Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Welcome to We-Fix-U Advanced Shoulder Pain Relief Centre

What are Shoulder Pain Causes?

You may be wondering why your shoulder hurts and there can be one or many reasons. One of the most important things you need to be aware of is that shoulder pain is the result of many bad habits over a long period of time. These activities over time start to wear away at the tissue and support system in the shoulder making it unstable and vulnerable to injury. Pain is the last indicator of tissue damage and you will need to seek corrective measures in order to prevent long term complications. Common shoulder pain causes are as follows.

Poor Posture

In today’s society where we spend most of our day at work and at rest in a slouched, rounded position we are setting ourselves up for potential shoulder problems. Like all mechanical things, when you take them out of alignment (i.e. rounded shoulders) you get increased wear and tear and these areas will receive repeated insults. Common shoulder conditions caused from poor posture are impingement syndrome, capsulitis, tendonitis, and/or bursitis.

Repetitive Use or Overuse

Like anything, the more you use your shoulder the greater the fatigue and potential damage. If you work in a job like painting, electrician, or framing where you are repeatedly lifting your arm and elevating the stress on your shoulder tissues. At some point your body won’t be able to handle this activity and tissue damage will occur. Pain with elevation is your greatest indicator of this. Common shoulder conditions caused from repetitive strain or over use are tendonitis, rotator cuff strain and/or bursitis.

poor posture woman and construction worker

Over Compensation

What do you think would happen to your shoulders if you had a very stiff neck or upper back? Well, limiting one joint (like the upper back joints) requires other joints (shoulder) to over-compensate to achieve the same movements you are asking your body to do. For example, you are reaching for your seat belt but your upper back or neck is very stiff so it cannot help in the rotation movement of your trunk when you reach for your seat belt. So, your shoulder has to compensate and stress its joint to reach the seat belt. Tissue damage starts to occur and becomes more damaged the more often you compensate. Our Physiotherapists are experienced at spotting these compensation points and will create a treatment plan to help you overcome the stiffness in other connected areas. Common shoulder conditions caused from compensation are capsulitis and/or rotator cuff strain.

Trigger Points/Myofascial Tension

Think of this as a knot in your muscle. When you have knots in your muscles they do not function properly, they do not allow you full range of motion, and they cause you pain. An example of this is when we have a sore neck. Most of us will rub or dig our hands into the muscles that connect our shoulder to our neck looking for relief. It feels good to release the knots and we regain some movement and lessen the pain. Our Registered Massage Therapists are especially great at working out those knots to restore your function and reduce your pain. Common shoulder conditions caused from trigger points are shoulder/neck pain and/or impingement.


Many of us as we age are not as physically active as when we were kids. The old saying “use it or loose it” comes to mind. Our shoulder muscles get weaker which weakens the support system of the shoulder which leads to an unstable joint and risk for shoulder injury or tissue damage. If we do activities like lifting heavy objects or typing for prolonged periods of time and our muscles are not strong enough to comfortably do these tasks, something has to give. Common shoulder conditions caused by shoulder weakness are arthritis and rotator cuff tears.

The staff are very helpful and friendly. my therapist had my shoulder feeling like new just after three visits. She provided stretches and exercises to do at home to keep my shoulder loose, it all worked out quicker then I thought. Thank you We-Fix-U.

What are the Different Types of Shoulder Pain Injuries and their Symptoms?

The complexity of the shoulder has created many different types of injuries or conditions. Shoulder injuries are often referred to in different ways, including tendonitis (inflammation around the tendon), rotator cuff strain or tear (tissue damage to the muscles that rotate the shoulder joint), shoulder bursitis (irritation of the tissue that decreases friction in the shoulder), impingement (tissue in the shoulder being pinched), capsulitis (stiffness of the material that holds the bones together) and let’s not forget arthritis (wear and tear of the bones in a joint). We will also discuss shoulder pain symptoms below.

Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common cause of shoulder pain. It occurs when there is impingement of tendons or bursa in the shoulder from bones of the shoulder. Overhead activity of the shoulder, especially repeated activity, is a risk factor for shoulder impingement syndrome. Examples include painting, lifting, swimming, and other overhead sports.With impingement syndrome, pain is persistent and affects everyday activities. Motions such as reaching up behind the back or reaching up overhead to put on a coat, for example, may cause pain. Over time, impingement syndrome can lead to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendinitis and bursa (bursitis). If not treated appropriately, the rotator cuff tendons can start to thin and tear.

Rotator Cuff Tear

rotator cuff problem diagram

Common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain and an inability to raise the arm above the head. A rotator cuff tear can be painful. cause difficulty sleeping, and lead to chronic shoulder problems. Above is a diagram of the rotator cuff muscles with inflamed/torn tendons. Our therapists are experienced in providing rotator cuff treatments, consult with us for more details.

Repetitive Shoulder Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injury, is a term that describes the pain in the nerves, muscles, and tendons and is caused by repetitive movements and overuse of the shoulder. This can eventually lead to a rotator cuff tear if left untreated.

Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis happens when tissues in your shoulder tighten and swell. The condition is often called frozen shoulder because the swollen tissues cause pain and decrease your shoulder movement.


Bursitis of the shoulder is inflammation of the bursa found between the bone at the top of the shoulder (the acromion), the upper arm bone (humerus), and the tendons and muscles.


What is the Treatment for Shoulder Pain Injury?

There are 7 Key Components to our Shoulder Pain Relief Program

  1. Reducing pain and inflammation as soon as possible.
  2. Creating the optimal environment for your injury to heal AND giving it enough time for your repairing tissue to fully mature.
  3. Listen to your body when it’s painful and understanding what the right decisions are to prevent re-aggravation that can lead to permanent, chronic pain.
  4. Following an appropriate exercise program for your injury at each stage of tissue healing.
  5. Treating the problem not only during the day but assisting with healing promotion with shoulder pain at night.
  6. Executing some form of exercise daily to maintain your fitness level and the healthy function of the unaffected joints and muscles.
  7. Living an active and healthy lifestyle PAIN FREE again.

We-fix-U has been helping our patients live healthy, more active lives for many years. Over the years we’ve treated thousands of patients with shoulder pain and have produced great results for our patients. To date, 92% of the people with shoulder pain just like you, who have successfully completed our Shoulder Pain Relief Program at We-Fix-U, achieved their goals. Better yet, the likelihood of them re-injuring is reduced. Make an appointment with us here or give us a call at any of our clinic locations.

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We-Fix-U Physiotherapy and Foot Health Centre Cobourg Clinic

727 William St, Cobourg, ON K9A 3A7
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196 King St. E, Bowmanville, ON L1C 1P1
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1500 Lansdowne St. West, Peterborough, ON K9J 2A2
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125 Toronto Rd, Port Hope, ON L1A 3S6
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