5 Causes Of Shoulder Pain & When To See A Specialist

Try to simply walk, get up from a chair, hug a friend, garden, wrap a gift, work on your computer, or get into bed, and not move your shoulder. It is difficult, if not impossible, to do. The shoulder is one of our most complex joints and when it hurts, almost everything we attempt to do hurts as well. Let’s delve into 5 causes of shoulder pain & when to see a specialist.

If It Hurts To Do That… Don’t Do It!man with shoulder pain

The old joke about ceasing an activity if it hurts might apply here. If your shoulder hurts when you reach for something up high, like an ingredient on an upper shelf in your kitchen, just don’t reach for it. That might work for some people if they have a live-in maid, but certainly not for the rest of us mere mortals. If we stopped doing something every time it hurt, life might not be worth living.

Most of us want to live life to the fullest, so we seek out someone who can help diagnose and treat our pain. For shoulder pain in Kirkland, WA, see a specialist like Dr. Camille Clinton.

Reasons To See A Specialist

In general there are a number of reasons to see a specialist for shoulder pain.

They include the following issues:

  • Any persistent pain that lasts longer than a couple of weeks, especially if it is not relieved by ice or heat therapy or over-the-counter medications
  • If you have difficulty sleeping
  • If there is a clicking or popping sound, especially when lifting or throwing
  • If you have had a previous shoulder dislocation which makes the shoulder unstable

Typical Injuries or Causes of Shoulder Pain


It is common to have shoulder pain due to osteoarthritis. It causes stiffness, pain, and swelling in the joint. Your age, the wear and tear, or any injury increases your likelihood of developing arthritis. This normally occurs when the protective cartilage covering degenerates.

Rotator Cuff Tears

A torn rotator cuff is common, and the risk increases as you age. The tendons and muscles degenerate and weaken. It can happen with a shoulder injury or from overuse.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

When the tendons become irritated or inflamed due to repetitive overhead motion like playing tennis, shoulder impingement is the result.

Sprains And Fractures

This can occur after a fall or if you land on an outstretched hand which tears the ligaments.


A blow to the shoulder can force the ball of the humerus out of the socket.

All of these 5 injuries and issues can make a visit to a specialist necessary and expedient.

Request an Appointment

Contact Dr. Camille Clinton at (425) 899-4810 for shoulder pain that will not improve with at-home treatment or that involves severe pain.

Request Appointment




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