5 Shoulder Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

What Are 5 Shoulder Symptoms You Should Not Ignore?  JOI has the answer for you in this article.  You like to work out and stay active, but sometimes shoulder pain gets in the way. How are you supposed to know when it is time to see a doctor?  Experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort? Don't sweep it under the rug. Your shoulder pain could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs medical care. This article discusses five shoulder symptoms that you shouldn't ignore. Recognizing these symptoms can help you determine when it's time to seek medical help. Our goal is to get you back to enjoying the activities you love without shoulder pain. 

JOI Identifies 5 Shoulder Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Shoulder pain is a common problem that can disrupt everyday life. It's crucial to understand what causes shoulder pain, how it impacts your day-to-day activities, and when it's time to see a doctor.

Shoulder pain can stem from various issues including injuries like sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures. Overuse or recurring movements can also lead to shoulder pain, as seen in rotator cuff tendonitis or bursitis. Other conditions like arthritis, frozen shoulder, and shoulder impingement syndrome can also cause shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain can make even simple tasks like reaching for items, lifting, or dressing difficult and painful. It can limit your movement, making it hard to carry out routine tasks at work, home, or during leisure activities.

While some shoulder pain can be eased with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relief, it's important to know when to get medical help. If you have severe pain, sudden swelling, can't move your shoulder, or if the pain lasts for a long time, it's advised to see a healthcare professional. They can diagnose the root cause of your shoulder pain and suggest the right treatment plan.

The quick answer is if you are experiencing any of the following 5 symptoms, you should have an orthopedic consultation: 

  1. Clicking or popping in the shoulder joint

  2. Persistent shoulder pain that intensifies with use

  3. Shoulder Pain that keeps you from sleeping or awakens you.

  4. Stiffness and/or the inability to raise your arm above your head.

  5. Numbness, tingling or burning sensation.

There just is no reason to live with shoulder pain and the 5 shoulder symptoms you should not ignore. Our facilities are safe, and we provide the highest level or orthopaedic excellence.

Treatment of Pain in the Shoulder

The key to the treatment of shoulder injuries is early intervention.  Oftentimes, patients wait too long to get evaluated for their condition and the injury progresses quickly. 

There are 5 shoulder symptoms that you should not ignore. 5 shoulder symptoms you should not ignore
That's why it's important to understand the 5 shoulder symptoms you should not ignore. If caught early enough, shoulder pain may be treated with physical therapy, pain management, and exercise. 

The experts at the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute (JOI) specialize in all of types of shoulder conditions and can help you get on the road to recovery.  We have orthopedic physicians who specialize in shoulder diagnosis and treatment at all seven of our clinical locations. Our physicians have years of experience and the latest diagnostic technology to diagnose the condition causing your shoulder pain. Once the condition is identified, your physician will develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Treatments can include physical or occupational therapy, home exercise programs, postural awareness, injections and pain management, medications, laser treatment, acupuncture and surgical intervention.   

Another article by JOI which can also help you is 5 things that may cause your shoulder pain. 

When Should You See an Orthopaedic Shoulder Doctor?

What is unique about JOI is our team approach to treating your shoulder pain.  Our physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and massage therapists all work together to provide you with the best care possible. JOI has shoulder specific treatment protocols for shoulder conditions to provide the best outcomes. Conservative treatments may include decreasing pain and inflammation, strengthening the surrounding muscles, increasing shoulder range of motion and improving overall function.  It may also include the use of a treatment laser or the Graston Technique. Your outcome and patient satisfaction is very important to us. 

Shoulder Anatomy

Shoulder AnatomyShoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is a very unique joint and is one of the most frequently injured joints of the body.  A contributing factor to this is the fact that the shoulder has three planes of motion to provide a high level of function. This degree of mobility creates a larger potential for injury.   

The main joint of the shoulder is the ball and socket joint called the glenohumeral joint.  The ball is the head of the humerus which sits in the socket or the glenoid.  The shoulder cartilage, known as the glenoid labrum, assists in keeping the humerus within the glenoid.  The musculature and the ligaments of the shoulder provide motion and stability to the joint. 

The rotator cuff muscles are the main group of muscles in the shoulder joint.  These four muscles are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and the teres minor.  The rotator cuff can be vulnerable to overuse and strains due to their dynamic actions.  Other joints within the shoulder are the sternoclavicular, the acromioclavicular and the scapulothoracic joints.  Any injuries or conditions to the musculature or ligaments of the entire shoulder complex can dramatically affect the function of the shoulder.  To learn more about the shoulder, please watch this video of the Shoulder Anatomy.

5 Shoulder Symptoms You Should Not IgnoreAnatomy of the Shoulder Labeled

The 5 shoulder symptoms can have possible indications for various shoulder pathology or other serious medical conditions. There are many shoulder pathologies which can be identified from the 5 symptoms: 

How is Shoulder Pain Diagnosed?

JOI Identifies 5 Shoulder Symptoms You Should Not Ignore5 Shoulder Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Shoulder pain could indicate other serious medical conditions, so it is important to get advice from a skilled physician. Shoulder treatment in a full continuum of care for the shoulder joint is very important. This involves preparing our patients for a full return to their prior level of activities. For our athletes, our trained professionals will use protocols for a safe return to their sport.  Our clinicians also use the Dartfish video analysis program to correct any bio-mechanical errors which might have contributed to the original injury. For our other patients, our clinicians will develop a program to gradually return them to normal activities.

How Shoulder Conditions are Diagnosed

When it comes to shoulder pain, getting the right diagnosis is key for effective treatment. There are several diagnostic tests that can help pinpoint the cause of your shoulder pain.

An X-ray is a common diagnostic test for shoulder pain. It can help identify fractures, dislocations, or bone problems that may be causing your discomfort. Another test that might be recommended is an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which provides detailed images of the soft tissues in your shoulder, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help diagnose conditions like rotator cuff tears or labral tears.

Various conditions can cause shoulder pain, each with its own set of symptoms. Some common shoulder conditions include:

  • Rotator cuff tendinitis: Symptoms include pain, weakness, and limited movement.
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome: You may feel pain when lifting your arm or reaching overhead.
  • Frozen shoulder: This causes stiffness and limited movement in the shoulder joint.
  • Shoulder bursitis: Symptoms can include pain, swelling, and tenderness around the shoulder joint.
  • Shoulder instability: Frequent dislocations or a feeling that your shoulder is slipping out of place are common symptoms.

Diagnosing shoulder conditions early is vital to prevent further damage and ensure effective treatment. Ignoring shoulder symptoms or delaying diagnosis can lead to chronic pain, decreased movement, and even permanent disability. If you have any of the above symptoms or are concerned about your shoulder health, it's important to see a qualified healthcare professional.

JOI Rehab Shoulder ROM ExercisesShoulder Exercises For Range of Motion

To learn why shoulder pain can't wait, please watch this VIDEO.  Please read this article to find out what the 5 Worst Shoulder Exercises Are. 

Preventing Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries can be painful and debilitating, affecting your ability to perform everyday tasks. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent shoulder injuries and maintain healthy shoulders. Here are some tips:

1. Maintain good posture: Bad posture can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders. Practice good posture by sitting and standing up straight, keeping your shoulders relaxed and aligned with your ears.

2. Warm up before exercise: Before any physical activity, it's important to warm up your muscles and joints. Do gentle shoulder stretches and range-of-motion exercises to prepare your shoulders for more intense movements.

3. Strengthen shoulder muscles: Regularly incorporate exercises that target the muscles around your shoulders. These can include shoulder presses, lateral raises, and rows. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as your strength improves.

4. Use proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy items, it's crucial to use proper form to avoid straining your shoulders. Bend your knees, engage your core, and lift with your legs instead of just your shoulders.

5. Avoid repetitive overhead motions: Overhead activities like painting, throwing, or reaching can strain your shoulder joints. Try to limit these movements or take frequent breaks to rest your shoulders.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of shoulder injuries and keep your shoulders strong and healthy. Always listen to your body and get medical help if you have any persistent shoulder pain or unusual symptoms.  If you have questions about your shoulder health, give us a call.  We are here to help you with all of your shoulder symptoms and pain.


Shoulder pain can be life-disrupting and greatly affect your daily routine. Luckily, there are several treatment options to reduce your discomfort and improve shoulder function. The best treatment method will depend on the cause and severity of your shoulder pain.

For mild to moderate shoulder pain, non-surgical treatment methods are often recommended. These may include:

  • Physical therapy: A trained physical therapist can guide you through exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder joint, improve flexibility, and lessen pain.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help manage your shoulder pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Rest and ice: Resting your shoulder and applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and ease pain.

In some cases, surgical methods may be needed to treat shoulder conditions that don't respond to conservative treatments. Common surgical procedures for shoulder pain include:

  • Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure where a small camera and surgical instruments are inserted into the shoulder joint to diagnose and treat various shoulder conditions.
  • Rotator cuff repair: This surgery involves reattaching or repairing the torn tendons of the rotator cuff to restore shoulder stability and function.
  • Shoulder replacement: If severe shoulder arthritis or joint damage is present, a shoulder replacement surgery may be recommended to replace the damaged joint with an artificial one.

After shoulder surgery, rehabilitation is key to restoring strength, range of motion, and function. Our team at JOI will create a personalized rehabilitation plan that may include:

  • Physical therapy: A structured program of exercises and stretches to gradually regain strength and mobility in your shoulder.
  • Pain management: Medications or techniques to manage post-surgery pain and discomfort.
  • Gradual return to activities: Your rehabilitation plan will provide guidance on when and how to safely get back to your normal activities and sports.

Shoulder Pain and Labral Tear Doctors in Jacksonville, FL

If you have any of the above 5 shoulder symptoms you should not ignore, early medical intervention can make a big difference in your recovery. Whether you have pain in the shoulder, pain on the shoulder, or pain in both shoulders, the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, the Official Sports Medicine Providers for the Jaguars, will provide the highest level of expertise to help you return to your normal, active lifestyle.  If you are living with shoulder pain, we can help! 

To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 13 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.  JOI Rehab Physical and Occupational Therapists work directly with the JOI Orthopedic Shoulder Specialists to provide the best outcomes possible for your shoulder.  Go Where The Pro's Go!

Also, if you have recently had a shoulder surgery watch our video on How to Properly Put on an UltraSling 4 or Dressing the Upper Body After an Injury or Surgery

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments.  This is an easy option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments.  Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online. When you schedule an appointment with JOI, you can expect personalized attention and a thorough evaluation of your shoulder symptoms. Our team of experienced orthopaedic shoulder specialists will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.  New: You can now make follow-up and cancel physician appointments through the JOI Patient Portal. 

 You can still Call 904-JOI-2000 to schedule a new patient appointment with a JOI Physician.  If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call.  We are here to help you with your shoulder. 

By: Tim Wall, MS, ATC in Collaboration with the JOI Shoulder Orthopaedic Physicians.

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