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When to Seek Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Your shoulder has three primary bones that come together in a ball-and-socket joint. The shoulder joint is cushioned with cartilage and gives your arm a wide range of motion due to your rotator cuff, which is formed by four tendons that link to surrounding muscles and bone. With so many interconnected parts, it’s easy to see how pain in your shoulder can affect your quality of life.

If you’re experiencing persistent pain in your shoulder, turn to NuVation Pain Group in Buena Park and Los Angeles, California. Our double board-certified specialist, Phillip Lim, DO, MPH, specializes in pain management. Let’s take a closer look at what causes shoulder pain, and when you should seek treatment for it. 

Causes of shoulder pain

There can be dozens of reasons you’re experiencing shoulder pain. Here are a few of the most common causes:

Accident or injury

Whether you’ve been in a car accident or sustained an injury playing sports, some common shoulder injuries include dislocation, fracture, and separation.

Rotator cuff problem

The muscles that operate your rotator cuff can be affected by tendinitis, bursitis, or a rotator cuff tear. Signs of a rotator cuff problem include stiff shoulder and severe pain that seems to worsen at night.

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder creates a stiffness that makes it extremely difficult for you to reach behind your back or up over your head. 


This type of shoulder pain is typically concentrated at the front of your shoulder. Like many other shoulder pain conditions, it causes stiffness and makes it very difficult for you to move your shoulder in a forward or backward direction.

When to seek treatment

Shoulder pain is a common condition and can range from mild to severe. If you have mild shoulder pain, we first recommend that you change or limit your activity, use hot and cold therapy, implement therapeutic exercises, and try anti-inflammatory medications. 

If your pain persists, is severe, or is the result of an accident or injury, we recommend you come into one of our clinics right away. 

Treatment options for shoulder pain

To determine the exact cause of your shoulder pain and customize a treatment course, Dr. Lin conducts a thorough physical exam, talks with you about your medical history, and uses imaging tests like an MRI, ultrasound, and X-ray. Some of the effective solutions he may use in your recovery include:

For relief from your shoulder pain, make an appointment at one of our offices closest to you.

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