Shoulder Injuries

If you have pain and stiffness in your shoulder, difficulty raising or rotating your arm fully, feel as if your shoulder could pop or slide out of its socket, or don’t have the shoulder strength to lift things you once could, it may be time to see an orthopedic specialist.

These are symptoms of a shoulder injury, and ignoring it may aggravate the condition—which can cause even more problems.

Fortunately, at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic, you have access to an entire team of orthopedic specialists who have advanced training and experience in treating shoulder injuries.

Types of shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries fall into two general categories:

  • Instability occurs when a shoulder joint moves or is forced out of its normal position, resulting in joint dislocation and pain when you raise your arm
    • Shoulder fractures—often as a result of trauma such as a fall—are in this category
  • Impingement is caused when the shoulder muscles rub excessively against the top part of the shoulder blade during repetitive overhead motion such as playing tennis or ball-throwing
    • Rotator cuff tendinitis, rotator cuff tears and other rotator cuff injuries fall into this category
    • The rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together, is one of the most important parts of the shoulder

People may also experience shoulder pain from bursitis (inflammation of the soft tissue around the shoulder muscles and bones) and arthritis.

What causes shoulder injuries?

Shoulder injuries are often the result of athletic activities that involve repetitive overhead motion. So if you swim, play tennis, throw balls or lift weights, you are more likely to have a shoulder injury.

But you can also injure your shoulder just performing everyday activities such as painting or washing walls, hanging curtains, or gardening.

How are shoulder injuries treated?

There is a range of conservative (nonsurgical) and surgical treatments available for shoulder injuries. The most appropriate treatment depends on the cause and extent of your shoulder injury.

  • Shoulder exercises—Important for strengthening shoulder muscles and preventing further injury
  • Physical and occupational therapy—After an injury and/or surgery, physical rehabilitation therapy is often necessary to help you regain full strength and function. Your orthopedic specialist will work closely with your physical therapist to develop a physical rehabilitation treatment program tailored to your individual needs.
  • Cortisone injections for pain management
  • Arthroscopic shoulder surgery
  • Rotator cuff repair surgery
  • Shoulder replacement surgery
  • Surgery to repair a fracture

Want to learn more about treatments for shoulder injuries at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic?

Simply call us to schedule an appointment at the location that’s most convenient for you at Portland: (503) 261-6961.