Shoulder Pain

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Shoulder Pain services offered in Charlotte, NC

The shoulder has a wider range of motion than any other joint. At Sporting Medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina, sports medicine specialist William Graham, MD, understands how quickly shoulder pain can limit your mobility and range of motion. He uses the most effective evidence-based treatments, such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory joint injections, to repair shoulder damage. Call Sporting Medicine today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about shoulder pain.

Shoulder Pain Q&A

What causes shoulder pain?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that allows your arm to move in multiple directions. The top of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the scapula. A group of tissue called the rotator cuff stabilizes and holds the shoulder joint in place. Many injuries and degenerative conditions can destabilize the joint, leading to inflammation and pain.

Common causes of shoulder pain include:

Rotator cuff tear

The rotator cuff is a series of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder joint in position and allow the arm to rotate. Sports injuries and occupational damage can tear the tissue, causing pain and limited range of motion.


Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can damage the flexible cartilage that protects the joint or cause the synovial lining inside the joint to swell. Joint inflammation leads to pain, stiffness, and a low range of motion in the shoulder joint.


The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion and protect the joints. They prevent friction between the joint and its surrounding structures. Inflamed bursae may cause chronic pain, swelling, and stiffness that decrease your shoulder function.

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder causes pain and stiffness in the joint. It typically develops after an injury or surgery, drastically limiting the shoulder’s range of motion.

What are the signs of shoulder pain?

Common signs of shoulder pain include:

  • Limited range of motion when rotating the arm
  • Clicking or popping sound in the joint
  • Warmth or redness
  • Visible swelling
  • Neck or arm pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty lifting objects
  • Grinding sensation when moving the arm


Weakness in your arm is a telltale sign of shoulder instability. Early intervention is essential to restore your shoulder function.

How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

Dr. Graham performs a comprehensive physical exam and medical history review to diagnose shoulder pain. He may ask you to perform specific movements to locate the source of your pain. He also orders imaging scans, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT), to determine the severity of your condition.

What are the treatments for shoulder pain?

Dr. Graham takes a multifaceted approach to shoulder pain treatment at Sporting Medicine. Your individualized treatment plan may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Neuromuscular retraining
  • Immobilization
  • Arthritis management
  • Massage therapy

Call Sporting Medicine today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about shoulder pain.