Shoulder Pain

doctor examining a student's shoulder

*Content listed here is merely information and guidelines and not meant for diagnostic purposes. Please make an appointment if you are injured.*

Shoulder pain can be acute or chronic pain.  Acute or immediate pain usually occurs from a traumatic incident such as a collision; chronic pain comes from overuse or improper mechanics. 

Acute injuries:

  • Dislocation or subluxation of the shoulder joint
  • Fracture to the bones around the shoulder
  • Tear of the cushioning within the joint (labral tear)

Chronic injuries:

  • Inflammation to tendons surrounding the shoulder (tendinitis)
  • Weakness in the muscles stabilizing the shoulder (rotator cuff syndrome)
  • Pinching of tissue within the shoulder joint (impingement syndrome)

Care and Management

Make an appointment to see a provider at NUHS, especially for acute injuries or debilitating pain.  There are steps you can take to alleviate some pain before your appointment.

  • Rest: Avoid placing more stress on your shoulder. Minimize aggravating activity until assessed by a physician.
  • Ice: Use ice for pain relief.  You can apply ice for 10-20 minutes every hour.