Shoulder & Elbow

Shoulder pain can arise from a variety of causes, ranging from sleeping in the wrong position to sudden and severe injury. Shoulder pain can interfere greatly with your daily life, making it difficult to sleep, work, or enjoy hobbies and recreation. Shasta Orthopaedics can help with your shoulder problems and get you back to enjoying your routine.

Common Shoulder Pain

Strain or Sprain of the Shoulder Muscles or Ligaments

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Aches in the shoulder
  • Stiffness of the shoulder muscles
  • Symptoms spread to arm, shoulder, or upper back

The terms strain and sprain refer to an injury to the ligaments or muscles in the shoulder. This condition may arise from a sudden movement or an injury. The severity of sprains and strains can vary greatly. Symptoms may also include shooting pain that spreads into the arm or hand, most likely signifying the presence of a pinched nerve.

Brachial Plexus Neuropathy

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • A sharp, burning pain that radiates down the arm
  • Tingling in the shoulder or arm
  • Numbness
  • A temporary loss of feeling in the arm or shoulder
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis

The brachial plexus nerves, located along the inside of the upper arm from the armpit to the elbow, can be affected by injury to the shoulder. Injuries that may cause this condition may occur during participation in contact sports, falls, and car accidents.

Torn Rotator Cuff

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Weakness, stiffness, or limited movement of the arm or shoulder
  • A popping sound heard at the time of the injury
  • Pain, especially when the arm is moved
  • Swelling or bump at the site of the injury

This condition involves damage to one or more of the four tendons that cover the shoulder joint and connect the shoulder bone to the collarbone. A torn rotator cuff is usually caused by injury in which the tendon is overstretched or resulting from a direct blow. This condition can also occur as a result of repeated minor injury or overuse that weaken the tendon.

Bicipital Tendonitis

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Shoulder pain that may spread down the front of the arm
  • Tenderness where the arm meets the shoulder
  • Decreased shoulder movement
  • A bulge in the muscle in the front of the arm or bicep

Bicipital tendonitis describes inflammation of the tendons that connect the bicep to the shoulder. Tendons are tough, ropelike fibers that connect muscles to bones. Bicipital tendonitis may be caused by overuse, infection, injury, or inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or bursitis.

Impingement Syndrome

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Pain associated with overhead arm movements
  • Swelling of the shoulder area
  • Weakness in the shoulder and upper arm

This condition involves the inflammation or abrasion of the rotator cuff tendons, and occurs as a result of repeated overhead arm movements that cause the tendons to scrape against the shoulder blade called. Inflammation, bone spurs, or fluid build up cause the tendons to be squeezed and rub against the bone.

Pinched Nerve

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Sharp pain in the shoulder
  • Shooting pain that spreads into the arm and hand
  • Numbness in the shoulder, arm or hand
  • “Pins and needles” sensations
  • Burning sensations
  • Weakness in the arm or hand

The term pinched nerve designates a type of injury or damage to a nerve or set of nerves, most commonly resulting from compression, constriction, or stretching of the surrounding area. A pinched nerve may also result from arthritis. The severity of this condition can range from minor and temporary to long lasting and serious. Pinched nerves often result from activity and movement in work and recreational settings.

Separation of the Shoulder

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Severe pain at the moment of injury
  • Pain that causes limited movement of the shoulder
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Possible deformity of the shoulder area

This condition occurs when an injury causes the ligaments in the shoulder area to tear, resulting in separation of the collarbone and shoulder blade.


Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Pain in the affected shoulder, especially with motion or pressure
  • Swelling in the shoulder
  • Redness and warmth

Bursae are fluid filled sacs that create a cushion between the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscle, and skin. Bursitis describes a condition in which one or more of these sacs become inflamed. This condition is commonly caused by repeated movement or prolonged pressure on the affected area. Bursitis can be caused by overuse, injury, or conditions like arthritis or infection.

Frozen Shoulder

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Pain in the shoulder area
  • Stiffness
  • Limited movement in the arm or shoulder

A frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which the joint stiffens, scar tissue forms, and movement of the shoulder is difficult and painful. This condition can develop when normal movement is stopped because it is painful. While usually occurring as a result of an injury, frozen shoulder can be caused by any problem related to the shoulder, or in relation to a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or arthritis.

Medical Specialists

Paul E. Schwartz, MD

Since founding Shasta Orthopaedic, Dr. Shwartz continues to pursue excellence in medicine with continuing education courses and research into minimally invasive surgical techniques.

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David Schillen, MD

Dr. Schillen joined Shasta Orthopaedics in 2006 to pursue his special interest in the treatment of sports-related injuries of the shoulder and knee.

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It is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you have pain in your shoulder.

Seek emergency medical care immediately if you have been injured or if your symptoms are severe. Shoulder pain may be related to a serious medical condition, including infection or cancer. In the context of all shoulder problems, early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to prevent further damage and complications.

Once emergency care has been administered, orthopaedic medicine may be able to help immensely with pain symptoms that can arise from a variety of ailments, or linger long after an injury.

Shoulder problems usually develop as a result of an injury, everyday wear and tear, or overuse. Injuries to the shoulder most commonly occur during work or recreational activities, or as a result of a fall. Shoulder problems may also be related to muscle tension, poor posture, or a condition in another part of the body. It is also important to note that old injuries may cause lasting pain and chronic problems.

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