The shoulder is designed for mobility. It gets much of its stability from muscles which stabilize the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (arm bone) enabling arm movement. Due in part to its reliance on muscle for stability, the shoulder is prone to injury.

Signs of Injuries

  • Pain either at rest or with movement
  • Limitations in movement
  • Inability to sleep on injured shoulder
  • Decreased strength

Types and Causes

Shoulder injuries can range from mild muscle strains to dislocations. Common injuries include:

  • Muscle sprain
  • Tendon partial tear or full tear
  • Joint separation or dislocation
  • Labral tear
  • Muscle dysfunction

Common Treatments

An acute mild injury may be treated with ice, activity modification and/or over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory drugs. If the pain persists, then contacting a medical provider is advised.


  • Avoiding repetitive motions
  • Proper stretching or strengthening as needed