Why Do I Have Sudden Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can come out of nowhere to blindside you and knock you off your life’s path. Whether acute and manageable or unbearable, when your shoulder hurts, it is bound to affect your daily routine. But why does this happen, especially without any apparent injuries? Here we will explore several of the most common causes of shoulder pain, what to expect, and when to contact a pain management specialist like those at Macomb Pain Management.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is one of the most common causes of pain and discomfort in the shoulder that typically comes on suddenly and without warning. An inflammation in the shoulder muscles causes this condition, which may render your shoulder useless as you lose some or all movement, accompanied by a dull ache and sharp pain when trying to stretch. Those who have diabetes or already have limited mobility are most likely to develop a frozen shoulder. However, the inflammation can occur without cause as the root of the condition has not been discovered.

Frozen shoulder may get better in time, although it can take upwards of two years of exercise and stretching for full mobility to return. Medications, exercises, physical therapy, and other pain management activities can treat the condition. Once a frozen shoulder resolves independently, it’s unlikely to return and affect the same arm, although the opposite side can still develop symptoms.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis And Injuries

Tendonitis occurs when the tendons, or connective tissue between your muscles and bones, become inflamed. It is commonly caused by age-related degenerative changes and damage to the tendons by repeated motions. Rotator cuff injuries are generally found in older athletes and those who work in fields or have hobbies that repeatedly cause stress on the shoulder. Rotator cuff tears are a more extreme injury to the tendons of your shoulder and are caused by the same repetitive overuse as tendonitis. Chronic inflammation and subsequent damage can cause these injuries to become worse over time and perhaps lead to permanent injury.

Rotator cuff injuries are typically subtle and grow in intensity over weeks, months, and sometimes years. Physical therapy, certain pain relief injections, and a cessation of the activities that caused the injury are the most effective methods for treating damage to your tendons.


As we age, the cartilage in our joints deteriorates, and one of the most frequent issues with that deterioration is the development of arthritis. According to the Department of Research & Scientific Affairs, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, three main types of arthritis affect the shoulder, all of which can be influenced by injury.

  • Osteoarthritis: The wear and tear version of arthritis. This condition is the most common among older people and is caused by a slow wearing down of the cartilage.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: A symmetrical type of arthritis that affects both sides of the body and is characterized by pain and discomfort in multiple joints.
  • Post-traumatic Arthritis: Arthritis that develops following an injury to the cartilage of the shoulder joint.

Most arthritis conditions can be treated with non-surgical methods. If you are experiencing arthritis pain in your shoulder, your doctor should recommend a treatment tailored to your specific situation. At home, you can ice your shoulder, ensure you get lots of rest, and try to avoid exercises or activities that put pressure on your shoulder joints.

Find Shoulder Pain Relief With Macomb Pain Management

No matter the cause of your shoulder pain, our team is ready and willing to help. Call us today at (248) 844-8281 to schedule your consultation and begin to see relief from your shoulder pain thanks to the expert staff at Macomb Pain Management.