The shoulder is capable of the highest range of motion of any joint in the human body. At Atkinson Chiropractic in Turlock, California, family chiropractor David Atkinson, DC, provides comprehensive care for shoulder pain to ensure you maintain that range of motion without discomfort, stiffness, or soreness. Call the office or schedule an appointment online to learn more about shoulder pain.

request an appointment

What causes shoulder pain?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the humerus (upper arm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade). One of the largest joints in the body, the shoulder provides a wide range of motion for the arm. A group of tissues called the rotator cuff stabilizes the joint to hold it in place.

With so many structures supporting the shoulder, it’s susceptible to damage and injury. Common causes of shoulder pain include:

Rotator cuff injury

Rotator cuff injuries usually develop over time from repetitive motions, such as lifting or throwing, though they can also occur suddenly and tear the tissue.


Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that causes joint pain and stiffness. It can also reduce your range of motion and diminish your mobility. While osteoarthritis causes the cartilage around the joints to break down, rheumatoid arthritis affects the synovial lining inside them.


The bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion the joints. Bursitis occurs when these sacs inflame.

Bone spurs

Bone spurs are growths that usually develop at the end of bones. These projections can cause pain in the shoulder that limits its movement and range of motion.

Many repetitive motions can increase your risk of shoulder pain. Poor conditioning, lack of exercise, and smoking may also lead to chronic conditions that cause pain in the shoulder.

How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

To diagnose shoulder pain, your chiropractor evaluates your range of motion. You perform specific movements while your provider asks questions about your pain. Your chiropractor also reviews your medical history and carefully manipulates the tissues in your shoulder to pinpoint your area of pain.

Your provider may also order imaging scans, such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), for further investigation.

What are the treatments for shoulder pain?

The providers at Atkinson Chiropractic take a conservative approach to shoulder pain treatment. Myofascial and manipulative therapy is a hands-on treatment that involves applying precise pressure to the soft and hard tissues in your shoulder to promote healthy blood circulation and relieve pain.

If you require injections, minimally invasive treatments, or surgery, your chiropractor can refer you to another physician.

Call Atkinson Chiropractic or schedule an appointment online to learn more about shoulder pain.