Shoulder pain usually develops because of an injury or some form of tissue degeneration. The resulting loss of use of the affected arm can severely impact your ability to lead a normal life, but LA Orthopaedic Specialists in Downtown Los Angeles, California, can help you recover. The doctors use both conservative and surgical approaches to treating shoulder pain, depending on what is likely to give you the most favorable outcome. Call LA Orthopaedic Specialists today to find out more or book an appointment online.

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What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is generally due to one of three causes:

Traumatic injury

Traumatic injuries can occur from falls, when playing sports, or in car accidents. Or you might strain your shoulder carrying something heavy.


Wear-and-tear conditions like osteoarthritis develop over time, as the protective layer of cartilage covering the bones in your shoulder deteriorates and leaves the bones exposed.

Repetitive strain

You can also suffer from damage caused by repetitive motions that overstrain the tissues in your shoulder and cause microtears. These microtears build up over time to cause chronic shoulder pain.

Traumatic injuries tend to be acute, causing immediate pain that fades as the injury heals. Wear-and-tear and repetitive strain are more likely to cause chronic pain that develops slowly and doesn’t improve without treatment.

In some cases, a traumatic injury that doesn’t get the correct treatment during the acute phase fails to heal properly and becomes a chronic shoulder pain problem.

What types of conditions lead to shoulder pain?

There are numerous causes of traumatic or degenerative shoulder pain, including:

  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Bursitis 
  • Tendonitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Pulled muscles
  • Strains
  • Labral tear
  • Dislocation 
  • Subluxation (partial dislocation)
  • Fractures
  • Shoulder separation

Injuries like partial and total dislocation are quite common because of your shoulder’s extensive range of motion. 

These types of injuries often cause damage to the rotator cuff that holds the shoulder joint in place. They also make you more likely to experience further dislocations in the future, which can lead to shoulder instability.

What treatments are there for shoulder pain?

Initial treatments for shoulder pain focus on rest, changing the activities you do for a while, and physical therapy.

You might also benefit from having regenerative medicine treatment such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help promote tissue repair and growth. Steroid injections into the shoulder joint can also be effective.

If you’re not finding these therapies are helping, or if your shoulder condition is one that’s unlikely to heal without help, LA Orthopaedic Specialists can look at the possibility of shoulder surgery.

Where appropriate, the surgical team uses arthroscopic techniques to perform shoulder surgery. Arthroscopy is minimally invasive, meaning it causes significantly less tissue damage than open surgery. As a result, your recovery is faster and less painful.

You might need to have soft tissues like muscles, tendons, or ligaments repaired, or if you have a severe degenerative problem like advanced osteoarthritis, shoulder replacement could be the best option.

To find out more about the right choice for your shoulder pain, call LA Orthopaedic Specialists today or book an appointment online.