Why Shoulder Pain Should Never be Ignored

If your shoulder hurts after you helped a friend move heavy furniture, or you were a weekend warrior on the basketball court, you might have simply overworked some muscles. Rest and ice should help you recover in a few days from these types of overuse injuries. However, if shoulder pain persists or you were injured in an accident to the point where you’ve lost mobility in your arm, it’s time to seek the help of a musculoskeletal professional.

Here at Jersey Integrative Health & Wellness, with convenient locations in Pompton Plains, Boonton, and Jersey City, New Jersey, our sports medicine and primary care team takes a natural approach to relieving pain and restoring your shoulder joint to its full function. They offer customized treatments such as physical therapy, acupuncture, and osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT). And, when more conservative treatments don’t relieve your pain and swelling, they may recommend PRP injections

Below are some common shoulder conditions and injuries that require medical intervention. 

Rotator cuff injuries

Your shoulder is a complex ball-and-socket joint surrounded by muscles and tendons that keep the ball in the socket. These muscles and tendons make up your rotator cuff, and they allow you to move your arm in a variety of ways — up and down, side-to-side, and full rotation.

Tennis players, painters, and construction professionals are particularly at risk for rotator cuff injuries because of the repetitive overhead motions they make with their shoulders. If you regularly play tennis, the repetitive motion and force of swinging your racquet overhead can lead to shoulder muscle overuse and strain. Additionally, if you paint or hang drywall, you’re more prone to rotator cuff tears and shoulder injuries. 

A mild rotator cuff strain may simply need rest and ice. However, if you’ve stretched the muscles and tendons in your shoulder too far, it’s likely that more severe pain and inflammation has set in. You may not have full range of motion, and it is painful when you reach for high objects. 

Our integrative medical team may prescribe a combination of physical therapy, acupuncture, and other noninvasive treatments to alleviate your pain and help your shoulder heal. If the pain is too severe and you’re unable to get comfortable, a cortisone injection can help calm the inflammation and take the edge off your pain. 

Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)

The official name for frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis. “Adhesive” is an excellent description since frozen shoulder makes your shoulder feel stuck like it is in glue. With adhesive capsulitis, scar tissue can develop in your shoulder tissues over several weeks or months, causing you to lose range of motion in your arm. 

If your shoulder hurts to the point where you stop extending your arm as you normally would, your shoulder can become stiff. As frozen shoulder progresses, you may find it impossible to reach for an item overhead or to easily slip on a sweatshirt.

Frozen shoulder treatment often includes physical therapy, gentle stretches, and exercises that help you gradually regain use of your shoulder. Cortisone injections may also help reduce pain and swelling. 


Arthritis can affect nearly every joint in your body and when it affects your shoulders, it can become very painful. Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis damages the cartilage in your shoulders and wears down the cushioning in the joint. When this happens, bones can wear out due to overuse, normal aging, or genetics. 

If your shoulder arthritis is mild, you may benefit from rest, pain medication, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. In more severe cases, bone-on-bone pain may occur every time you move. We create a customized arthritis treatment plan to help ease your pain and help you regain mobility. 

Don’t wait to seek treatment for shoulder pain that doesn’t get better after a few days. For expert care and treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal conditions that cause severe or chronic shoulder pain, give us a call at our New Jersey offices. Or, request an appointment online today. 

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