The Causes of Shoulder Pain during Sports and When to See an Orthopedic Surgeon

The Causes of Shoulder Pain during Sports and When to See an Orthopedic Surgeon

The Causes of Shoulder Pain during Sports and When to See an Orthopedic Surgeon


Shoulder injuries are among the most common complaints of athletes and active individuals. You may be experiencing pain, weakness, or stiffness in your shoulder during sports or other activities, and wondering what is causing it. Understanding the common causes of shoulder pain during sports can help you prevent further injury and seek the proper treatment. In this post, we will discuss the most common reasons for shoulder injuries and when it’s time to consult with an orthopedic surgeon.


Rotator cuff injury

Your rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint, keeping it stable and allowing you to move your arm in different directions. A rotator cuff injury can happen due to repetitive overhead motions or a single traumatic event. Symptoms may include pain, weakness, and limited range of motion. If you experience persistent shoulder pain or notice a sudden loss of strength in your shoulder, you may need a physical examination, imaging tests, or arthroscopic surgery to repair the damaged tissue.

Shoulder impingement

Shoulder impingement is a condition where the space between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff narrows, causing the tendons and bursa to rub against the bone. This can cause inflammation, pain, and restricted motion. If you are a swimmer, baseball player, or weightlifter, you may be at a higher risk of developing shoulder impingement due to the repetitive motions involved. Treatment options may include rest, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or arthroscopic surgery.

Frozen shoulder

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a condition where the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint becomes thickened and stiff, limiting movement and causing pain. This can be caused by injury, surgery, or prolonged immobilization. Frozen shoulder usually goes through three stages: freezing (painful), frozen (stiff), and thawing (recovery). Physical therapy, stretching, and mild pain relief medication can help alleviate pain and improve range of motion. In some cases, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary.

Labrum tear

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the socket of the shoulder joint, providing stability and cushioning. A labrum tear can result from a shoulder dislocation or repeated overhead movements. Symptoms may include pain, clicking or popping sounds, and a feeling of instability in the shoulder. Treatment options range from rest and physical therapy to surgery, depending on the severity of the tear.


Bursitis is an inflammation of the small sacs of fluid (bursae) that cushion your joints. Shoulder bursitis is common in athletes who perform repetitive overhead movements, such as throwing a baseball or lifting weights. The symptoms may include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the shoulder joint. Treatment may include rest, ice, physical therapy or corticosteroid injections.



Shoulder pain during sports can be a frustrating and disabling condition that affects your performance and quality of life. It's essential to know the causes and symptoms of shoulder injuries, and seek the help of an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist as soon as possible to prevent further damage and restore function. If you're looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Deland, Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute provides comprehensive care for a range of shoulder and sports-related conditions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our skilled team of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists.