Shoulder pain

How to Treat Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most commonly reported ailments by Paris Orthopedic patients. While shoulder pain may seem one-dimensional, many underlying causes contribute to the area. In some cases, pain from the neck can radiate towards the shoulders, and in other cases, the pain may be caused by the joints, ligaments, or tendons. Depending on the cause of the shoulder pain, treatment options vary between non-surgical options, minimally invasive surgery, and open surgery. In this blog, we will go through the four primary categories of shoulder problems and the options available to treat your shoulder pain.

We have found that most shoulder problems can be sorted into four categories: tendon inflammation, instability, arthritis, or fracture. It’s important to note that if your shoulder pain prohibits using your arm, or is accompanied by a fever or pain that worsens at night, you should immediately seek medical attention.

Tendon Inflammation

There are many different conditions that can lead to the inflammation of the tendons. Bursitis occurs when excessive shoulder use leads to swelling and inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs in the joints called bursae. Another condition that may lead to tendon inflammation is tendinitis or tendon tears. Tendinitis is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute tendinitis is typically caused by activity, while chronic tendinitis comes about with age or as a result of arthritis. Fortunately, most conditions leading to tendon inflammation can be treated with non-surgical options such as rest, application of heat and ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain does not subside or worsens, visit a Paris Orthopedics specialist to resolve your symptoms.


Shoulder instability or dislocation occurs when the upper arm is dislodged from the shoulder socket. Dislocation can be partial (known as subluxation) or complete and may be caused by overuse or sudden injury. After the initial dislocation, treatment usually begins by resting, icing, and taking pain relievers to reduce inflammation. A sling can temporarily immobilize the shoulder and help with pain. Once the inflammation has subsided, physical therapy can help strengthen and regain the range of motion. Depending on the severity of the dislocation, the shoulder may still feel loose or unstable after physical therapy. In some cases, surgery can help reattach or tighten ligaments that were altered at the time of the dislocation.


Shoulder arthritis is a condition that we commonly treat at Paris Orthopedics. The most common form of arthritis in the shoulder is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is typically caused by years of use in work or sports. Non-surgical treatments for shoulder pain caused by arthritis include hot or cold therapy, stretching, and weight training, or physical therapy. Medicines like cortisone injections may also aid in pain relief. In some cases, joint replacement surgery may become necessary when all other treatments have been ineffective in reducing pain and improving mobility.


Bone fractures, commonly known as broken bones, occur from sudden injury and require immediate medical attention. The most frequently broken bone is the collarbone or clavicle, with other shoulder fractures taking place in the upper arm bone or shoulder blade. While fractures in other body parts may require surgeries or operations, shoulder fractures are most commonly non-displaced, which means that the bones just need time immobilized in a sling to heal properly. In about 20% of cases, shoulder fractures will be classified as displaced and may require additional medical intervention to restore the normal bone structure.

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

No matter what may be causing your shoulder pain, the team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is here to help. Our staff is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions about the options available to treat shoulder pain, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.