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Shoulder Pain Specialists

    Simple movements like turning the wrong way or throwing a ball can result in troubling shoulder pain. It may just be a muscle strain, but you may have severely injured one of your shoulder’s soft tissues. Another possibility is an underlying medical condition, such as arthritis. See one of Redefine Healthcare’s shoulder specialists for a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your pain (we have six convenient locations in New Jersey).

    What is Shoulder Pain?

    Anatomy of Shoulder PainYou’ve just finished helping your best friend move and are now experiencing acute shoulder pain. Someone just rear-ended you at a stoplight, and your seat belt is now causing pain in your left shoulder. That last golf shot triggered noticeable right shoulder pain, and you’re concerned about maintaining your handicap.

    All these factors and more may contribute to your need for shoulder pain treatment. Redefine Healthcare’s pain management doctor works hard to treat the underlying cause of your pain so you can get back to doing what you enjoy. Identifying whether your shoulder pain is caused by a muscle or ligament injury or an injury to the shoulder joint allows your physician to provide you with the best treatment possible.

    Causes of Shoulder Pain

    The shoulder is one of the most commonly used joints in the body. Hence, shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of problems and medical conditions that involve swelling, difficulty moving the shoulder in various directions, impaired motility, etc. Pain occurs when the shoulder joint or the tissues around it get irritated.

    Although arthritis or a heart condition might trigger shoulder pain as you age, it is more commonly caused by an injury or strain when you are younger. Our physicals will look for conditions like those caused by:

    Arthritis in the Shoulder

    Arthritis can manifest itself in various ways, all of which can affect the shoulder joint. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder caused by the immune system attacking the synovium. When this occurs in the shoulder joint, the inflammation limits joint movement and causes pain when.

    Osteoarthritis develops as the cartilage in the joint deteriorates from its use. This type of arthritis causes inflammation and pain when the joint is moved, potentially resulting in shoulder pain. Unfortunately, there is no cure for either type of arthritis.

    Injury and Trauma

    The shoulder joint is surrounded by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which allow the arm to move. Pain can occur when these tissues are damaged due to traumatic events. A traumatic impact around the shoulder can result in torn muscles and tendons. Aside from the direct injury, the tissues of the joint may become inflamed, resulting in shoulder pain.


    Despite the fact that the shoulder joint’s primary function is to move and support activity, overusing it can result in shoulder pain. This is a common issue among athletes that engage in activities involving shoulder movements, such as javelin throwers. Manual laborers are also at risk of overusing their shoulders, causing nerve impingement and pain.

    When the muscles contract and relax repeatedly, they rub against the tendons and ligaments, causing inflammation. Overuse can result in two types of shoulder pain: tendinitis and bursitis. Tendonitis is caused by misuse of a tendon, whereas bursitis is caused by inflammation of the bursa. Because they affect the rotator cuff, these conditions are known as rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis.


    Shoulder instability occurs when the shoulder joint fails to move normally. In the worst-case scenario, the humerus ball pops out of the shoulder blade socket, fully dislocating the joint. Most of the time, there is just some difficulty or obstruction in the joint’s movement. Although it can develop gradually and naturally, instability is most commonly caused by trauma that knocks the joint out of place. In either case, it causes shoulder pain that requires medical attention.


    When the shoulder area is immobilized for an extended period, such as following surgery, a serious injury, or a stroke, it can stiffen and become painful, resulting in a condition called frozen shoulder. Inflammation of the muscles and tendons, as seen in bursitis and tendonitis, can potentially contribute to the development of this condition. The resulting disability can be severe, and if not addressed, the symptoms tend to worsen with time.


    Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa that leads to shoulder pain, swelling, redness, and a thickening of the affected bursa. Bursa is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds every joint in the human body. It is surrounded by tendons, muscles, and skin. The bursa helps lubricate and reduce friction when you move the joint. Shoulder bursitis is frequently caused by recurrent shoulder joint damage or overuse of this joint.

    Because your shoulder joint is made up of bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that allow for such a wide range of motion, determining the exact cause of shoulder pain takes experience and detective work. Soft tissue inflammation or impingement can be caused by activities as simple as scratching your back or throwing a ball in the yard.

    Athletes are especially vulnerable to rotator cuff injury because repetitive motions promote joint wear and tear. If you have rotator cuff pain, visit our clinic and consult one of our shoulder pain specialists. We can help you.

    Regardless of the source of your shoulder pain, you should seek medical attention at one of our nearby clinics. In many cases, you would only require conservative treatment, which entails using warm or cold packs, taking over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers for severe pain, and giving your shoulder the time it needs to rest and recover. However, specialized treatment, including surgery, may be required in severe cases.

    Symptoms of Shoulder Pain

    Whether you have shoulder or shoulder blade pain, our NJ pain management clinic needs to know more about your symptoms, including when they began, what aggravates, and what relieves them.

    Some common symptoms of shoulder blade pain include:

    • A dull, achy feeling that gets worse with specific movements
    • A tingling, pins-and-needles feeling, sometimes accompanied by numbness and weakness that can affect both shoulders
    • Grinding, snapping, grating sensations, accompanying dull pain when you move your shoulder
    • An achy feeling between your shoulder blades, especially after being in one position for a long time
    • Sudden, sharp, and severe pain after a fall, accident, or blow
    • Noticeable arm weakness, especially after repetitive motions
    • Occasionally dull, aching pain, accompanied by a small, pea-sized lump in the muscle that’s tender and painful to the touch

    Consult your healthcare provider if you have sharp pain after an injury or have nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, or unexplained weight loss. These symptoms could be signs of referred shoulder pain. In most cases, referred pain indicates a serious underlying medical condition.

    How Is Shoulder Pain Diagnosed?

    Before developing a detailed plan to treat your symptoms and facilitate rehabilitation, your local pain specialist will conduct a physical examination and review your medical history. In addition, your doctor will do a range of motion tests to check the strength and resilience of your shoulder. To make a precise diagnosis, a specialist will use detailed images of your shoulder obtained through diagnostic tests such as x-rays, MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound.

    Getting Treatment for Your Shoulder Pain

    Conservative shoulder pain treatment is usually effective. Your doctor will prescribe rest and activity restrictions for a set period. The reduced activity enables for the healing of inflamed muscles, tendons, and ligaments. You should also try to keep track of which activities worsen your symptoms. Eliminating these activities will allow your shoulder to recover.

    Along with activity restrictions, our pain doctors may recommend heat, ice, physical therapy, accompanying strength and flexibility exercises, and over-the-counter pain medications. If other methods do not relieve your pain, prescription medication such as pain relievers or muscle relaxants may be helpful. Steroid injections are also available from your doctor to treat inflammation and pain.

    How Is Shoulder Dislocation Treated?

    If you suspect you have a shoulder dislocation, seek medical attention right away. Typically, you will be in excruciating pain and unable to move your shoulder, requiring professional medical care. Maintain as much stability and immobility as possible in your shoulder until you see a nearby specialist.

    The reduction is necessary to return the displaced humerus to its proper position in the bone socket. A trained medical professional or our doctor should perform shoulder reduction as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the shoulder and surrounding structures. An X-ray of the injured shoulder is required to rule out any fractures. The patient’s reduction process is quite painful in rare cases, necessitating general anesthesia. A surgical reduction is also an option, particularly for physically active young people.

    Following shoulder reduction, the injured shoulder must be immobilized. You will most likely need to rest your shoulder for the next 5 to 7 days. Any fracture usually requires a lengthier period of immobility.

    Because shoulder dislocation is often quite painful, we recommend over-the-counter and more potent prescription medications.

    Surgery is an option when conservative treatment fails to treat a shoulder dislocation followed by a fracture of the bones or damage to the surrounding tissues such as ligaments, tendons, nerves, or blood vessels. The goal of surgical treatment is to stabilize the shoulder joint as much as possible and repair any injured joint structures.

    Surgical Treatments for Shoulder Pain in NJ

    If you experience recurring dislocations or rotator cuff injuries, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery, often performed arthroscopically, repairs tendon tears, removes bone spurs, or reduces impinging scar tissue. Larger reconstructions or shoulder joint replacements rarely require open surgical procedures.

    The best pain management specialist at Redefine Healthcare focuses on symptom relief while treating the underlying cause. Conservative shoulder pain treatments benefit the vast majority of people. Your doctor is well-versed in non-invasive therapies and surgical procedures to provide you with the best results possible and return you to the activities you enjoy the most. To enhance your chances of a speedy recovery, contact Redefine Healthcare at the first sign of shoulder pain.

    Friendly, helpful staff. Great Doctors. Dr. C is the best, and Karen…Been to Union and Edison offices which are both comfortable to go to. I would recommend it to anybody looking for great Dr’s.


    FAQ background

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to Get Rid of Shoulder Pain?

    If you experience dull or aching pain in your shoulder, our doctors recommend the following ways to relieve your symptoms at home:

    • Rest and gentle range-of-motion exercises are essential to reduce pain and keep the muscles strong and flexible. Stretches you can try include pendulum and across-the-chest stretch.
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help ease painful inflammation in the affected shoulder.
    • Heat and cold therapy can help relieve pain and swelling by promoting blood flow to your bad shoulder.
    • Correct your posture by keeping your shoulder blades back and together when sitting or standing.

    Our physicians can advise you on an appropriate exercise program and which medications to use for your specific symptoms. Schedule an in-person consultation now to take the first step toward enjoying a pain-free life.

    How to Sleep With Shoulder Pain?

    Sleep on your back and avoid putting stress on your shoulders to maintain the correct sleeping posture. To keep your shoulder joint in the proper position, consider sleeping on your non-affected side with a pillow tucked deep under your arm.

    How Long Does Shoulder Pain Last?

    Pain in your shoulder can take weeks, months, or even years to heal, depending on the severity of the underlying condition. In some cases, the symptoms will go away on their own. If the pain persists despite rest and medication, see a doctor at Redefine Healthcare.

    How to Prevent Shoulder Pain?

    Our physicians recommend starting a shoulder strength and flexibility program to help prevent shoulder problems. To learn more about the program, speak with our physical therapist. We also recommend being aware of your posture throughout the day, both during exercise and at rest, so that you can avoid putting additional strain on the shoulder due to the misalignment of the bones and soft tissues.

    Dr freeman so knowledgeable with a beautiful bedside caring matter


    Page Updated on Nov 11, 2022 by Dr. Freeman (Pain Management Specialist) of Redefine Healthcare Dr. Eric D. Freeman

    Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.

    Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.

    Why Choose Redefine Healthcare?
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    • In-network,
      tier-one facility
    • 24 hour turnaround on needed
      notes and documentation
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      compassionate pain care
    • Non-surgical, interventional pain care
      in Edison, NJ & Union, NJ


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