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Understanding Common Shoulder Conditions and Their Treatments


The shoulder is one of the most complex and mobile joints in the human body. However, due to its high level of activity and constant use, it is susceptible to various conditions that can cause pain and limit its range of motion. In this blog, we will explore some common shoulder conditions and discuss their treatments to help you better understand how to manage and alleviate shoulder-related issues.

Rotator Cuff Tears

A rotator cuff tear occurs when the tendons that attach the muscles of the rotator cuff to the upper arm bone tear partially or completely. This condition is often caused by repetitive motions or sudden injuries. Treatment options for rotator cuff tears depend on the severity of the tear. Non-surgical treatments may include rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. However, in more severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the torn tendons.

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, limiting its range of motion. The condition typically develops over time and goes through three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing. Treatment for frozen shoulder usually involves physical therapy, stretching exercises, and sometimes corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and improve mobility.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendons become pinched between the bones of the shoulder. This often happens during overhead activities and can cause pain and weakness in the affected arm. Treatment for shoulder impingement may include rest, activity modification, physical therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, and anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, a corticosteroid injection may be administered to reduce inflammation.


Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion and reduce friction between bones and soft tissues in the shoulder. Overuse or direct trauma can lead to bursitis. Treatment for shoulder bursitis includes rest, ice application, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy may also be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and prevent further irritation.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Shoulder osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage that covers the bones in the shoulder joint wears down over time. As a result, movement becomes painful and limited. Treatment for shoulder osteoarthritis often involves a combination of pain management with medications, physical therapy to improve joint function and strength, and lifestyle modifications. In severe cases, surgery such as shoulder joint replacement may be considered.


Taking care of your shoulders is crucial to maintaining an active and pain-free lifestyle. If you experience persistent shoulder pain or limited mobility, it’s essential to consult an orthopedist, like Dr. Matthew Dwyer, Dr. Alexandra Matthews and Dr. Christopher Phelps, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Early intervention and proper management can significantly improve the outcome for various shoulder conditions. Remember, it’s always better to address shoulder issues promptly to prevent further complications and to get back to enjoying life to the fullest!


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