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Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint consists of three bones: the humerus, scapular, and clavicle. Injury or illness of one or more of these bones, or with the ligaments and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, can lead to shoulder pain.

Potential Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain may be caused by one of the following injuries or illnesses:

  • Avascular necrosis

  • Broken collarbone

  • Tendinitis

  • Tendon rupture

  • Bursitis

Shoulder in pain x-ray
Physician evaluating patient’s shoulder pain
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Heart attack
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Impingement
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Broken arm
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica


  • Septic arthritis

  • Sprains

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

  • Torn cartilage

Symptoms of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain that is new, worsens, becomes severe, or is accompanied by the following symptoms may require immediate attention:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Shoulder pain while resting or at night
  • Injury that leads to joint deformity
  • Inability to carry objects
  • Inability to raise or use the arm
  • Signs of an infection, such as fever, warmth, and skin redness
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the arm or joint
  • Other unexplained symptoms
Woman touching her shoulder in pain
Patients should schedule an appointment with their physician if shoulder pain lasts for more than a few days.

How Shoulder Pain is Diagnosed

During an exam, the physician will:
  • Apply pressure to different parts of the patient’s shoulder to identify unusual tenderness or deformity

  • Test the patient’s arm strength and shoulder range of motion

  • Examine the patient’s neck, abdomen, and other areas of their body to identify non-shoulder-related causes of pain.

In some cases, an X-ray or MRI scan may be done to check for bone spurs and tears in tendons, ligaments, or muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Treatment for shoulder pain will depend on the underlying cause.

Treatment Options

The right treatment for shoulder pain will depend on the severity of symptoms and the patient’s unique condition. Las Vegas Primary Care offers joint and soft tissue injections, pain management therapy, and occupational medicine.

Joint and soft tissue injections may help alleviate shoulder pain caused by soft tissue injuries. Pain management therapy may encompass a range of treatments, such as hot and cold therapy, massage, acupuncture, tai chi, deep breathing, cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, meditation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, progressive muscle relaxation, opioids, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

Patients experiencing shoulder pain that interferes with daily life and impairs their ability to perform job duties may need occupational medicine to help them adjust to the demands of the workplace.

Staff at Las Vegas Primary Care are also trained to help employers adapt the workplace to the limitations of employees experiencing shoulder pain. Occupational medicine can help both employers and injured employees create a plan for operating in the workplace.

Advanced Treatment

Some patients may need advanced treatment to address their shoulder pain. Advanced treatment may include chiropractic adjustment, physical therapy, and even surgery. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician at Las Vegas Primary Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment for shoulder pain.


Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Call us to schedule
an appointment at


We provide
emergency services



9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


call us to schedule
an appointment at


we provide
emergency services