When Is Your Shoulder Pain Serious?

Your shoulder is a complex and essential part of your body. There are twenty muscles supporting your shoulder that allow it to turn and rotate in different directions. Each muscle plays a unique role in helping you move. Injury to one or more muscles can significantly limit their functions and cause pain. 

Shoulder pain is often not taken seriously as people think it will go away in a few days. However, untreated injuries can worsen the symptoms, making it difficult to carry out daily activities. It is essential to learn about the signs of a serious injury and get treatment for shoulder pain in Reston

When Is Your Shoulder Pain Serious?

You can often treat mild injuries to the shoulder at home with the help of hot or cold therapy and rest. At most, you would need a bandage to hold your shoulder muscles in place. Mild shoulder sprains can be treated in conservative ways and allow you to return to your normal life in two to three weeks. However, some injuries may require professional help. 

You must seek medical help if you suffer from the following: 

  • The pain has lasted longer than a few weeks despite trying home remedies, taking over-the-counter medications, resting your shoulder, and refraining from activities that may cause pain. 
  • You are unable to sleep due to the intense pain or discomfort in your shoulders.
  • You are experiencing severe pain even when you are not using your shoulders.
  • You hear a clicking or popping sound every time you try to move your arms.
  • You have a shoulder injury history, which makes you prone to serious injuries.
  • There is swelling or a lump at the injury site. 

Shoulder Injuries That Require Medical Attention

Not all shoulder injuries are meant to be treated at home. Some injuries can pose a threat to your overall health and require professional help. 

Shoulder Dislocation

When your shoulder suffers a strong blow or other force, it can cause the humeral head to fall out of its socket and move from its position. It can cause pain, swelling, and bruising at the injury site. Shoulder dislocations are likely to happen during sports activities.

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that hold your shoulder in place and allow you to move your arm. There are two types of injuries, acute tears and degenerative tears. Acute tears occur when you fall on your outstretched arm or lift something heavy. The degenerative tear occurs due to the wearing down of the muscles with use. 


If your shoulder is hit with a strong force or you fall on a hard surface, it can break or crack a bone in your shoulders. This is called a fracture. It can cause a lot of pain and requires immediate help.