Find care options for shoulder pain.

Novant Health treats a range of shoulder injuries and conditions using a variety of therapeutic, non-surgical and surgical techniques. Whether you're dealing with a chronic shoulder condition like arthritis or bursitis or require torn rotator cuff surgery, our highly trained shoulder specialists are ready to get you on the road to recovery. Explore some of the most common shoulder injuries and your available treatment options.

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What are the most common shoulder injuries?

The most prevalent causes of shoulder pain are tendonitis and bursitis. These conditions are often caused by an injury, repetitive motion or arthritis from years of wear and tear. Rotator cuff tendonitis is a painful condition where inflamed tendons get pinched between your joints. You may experience stiffness, inflammation and discomfort when you move your arm up, down or behind your back. You may also notice a clicking sound when you lift your arm. If left untreated, you may require torn rotator cuff surgery to repair the damage.

Another common shoulder injury is a dislocation, typically caused by a fall or a sharp blow to the shoulder. Repetitive movement over time can also lead to deterioration. If you suffer from a partial or complete dislocation, you'll experience severe pain when moving your arm and can even develop arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive "wear and tear" condition in which the joint's cartilage deteriorates. Without the slippery surface, bone-on-bone contact causes pain and stiffness and impacts your shoulder's range of motion.

How can I get treatment for shoulder pain?

Most shoulder pain symptoms can be treated by resting the joint or making adjustments to your movement. Your physician may recommend anti-inflammatory medications to ease the discomfort and physical therapy to strengthen your shoulder and teach you how to move without exacerbating your condition. Just keep in mind that you need to move the shoulder so you don't end up with a "frozen shoulder," a condition where your range of motion diminishes from lack of use.

If you have a rotator cuff tear, fracture or dislocation, there's a good chance you'll need surgery to repair the damage. If it's severe enough, you may need a shoulder replacement. This procedure, also called shoulder arthroplasty, involves replacing the damaged parts of your shoulder with metal and plastic implants.

Why Choose Novant Health?

Our orthopedic shoulder specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating shoulder injuries. Whether you have an acute injury or suffer from chronic shoulder pain, our team at the Novant Health Orthopedic Institute will partner with you from your initial visit throughout the treatment and recovery process to ensure you understand what's involved and which solutions make the most sense for you.

We treat a broad spectrum of shoulder conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Strains and sprains
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendon and ligament damage
  • Dislocation
  • Fractures
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Shoulder separation
  • Infectious joint disease
  • Bone necrosis
A Novant Health team member is smiling at a patient at the front desk of a clinic.

If you have shoulder pain, the good news is that many common shoulder injuries and chronic conditions can be treated without surgery. You can often get relief by incorporating a combination of rest, medication, physical therapy and activity modifications into your daily routine.

Nonsurgical treatments we offer include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise and rehabilitation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Braces and slings
  • Lifestyle changes
A physical therapist is guiding a woman as she completes exercises.

If nonsurgical treatment doesn't treat your condition, your provider may recommend surgery. Our nationally recognized orthopedic shoulder specialists perform thousands of surgical procedures using advanced orthopedic medical techniques and robotic-assisted joint replacement tools.

Surgical treatments we offer include:

  • Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery
  • Partial or total shoulder replacement
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Tendon and ligament reconstruction and repair
  • Fracture repair
  • Dislocation repair
A Novant Health doctor is in an operating room participating in surgery.