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[New York Pain Management] 12 Important Signs That Your Shoulder Pain Won't Go Away

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

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You wake up in the morning, reach for your coffee, and it hits you. Your shoulder has been hurting for a few days, and it's only getting worse. It seems like every time you lift something heavier than your laptop, your shoulder aches. You try to shrug it off, but as the day goes on, it gets worse.

Many of us suffer from shoulder pain, but the pain is often a sign something else is going on in your body. Shoulder pain is preventing you from functioning normally in daily activities, work, and recreational activities.

Having shoulder pain is very frustrating, but you shouldn't ignore it because it won't go away on its own. In fact, if you don't do anything about it, your shoulder pain will only get worse by the time you realize it needs professional treatment from a New York pain management specialist.

If you have been living with shoulder pain for a while, there may be more to it than meets the eye. However, if we take a look at the problem itself, it can tell us a lot about what to do and what not to do. So here are the important signs that your shoulder pain won't go away and needs treatment.

1. It hurts to lift your arm

You're having trouble moving your arm in certain ways or lifting things. This could be a sign that there's something wrong with how your shoulder joint moves or that there's an injured muscle or tendon that needs treatment.

2. You're starting to lose strength

Your muscles feel weak and tight. Weak muscles can contribute to many different types of injuries because they cannot support the joints as well as strong muscles would be able to do. In addition, tight muscles may restrict blood flow through the tissues and cause inflammation that can make it difficult for them to heal properly. In both cases, this can lead to chronic pain that lasts for more than a few days after an injury occurs.

3. You have constant aches and pains

shoulder pain

The pain might come and go, but it can be very frustrating when it's there all the time. If you always feel like something is wrong with your shoulder and it never goes away, then you're likely experiencing chronic pain. In this case, you may want to see a pain doctor for help.

You may have injured your shoulder during a fall or accident, but if you've had constant pain for more than two weeks, it could be something more serious, like tendinitis or bursitis. These conditions cause inflammation of tendons or bursa sacs that lubricate joints, which makes them swell and become inflamed. This can cause significant pain and stiffness when moving the joint during daily activities like reaching overhead or lifting groceries.

4. It has no apparent source

Shoulder pain may be caused by an injury or trauma, but often there is no single event that caused it. In these cases, doctors look for other signs that might indicate an underlying condition causing the pain — such as inflammation or bone degeneration.

5. It's been going on for too long

Shoulder pain can vary greatly in intensity depending on the type of injury or condition affecting it. Some conditions cause mild discomfort while others may be so severe that they prevent you from using your arm at all. If you've had shoulder pain for over three months without improvement or relief, it's time to seek medical attention. The longer the discomfort goes untreated, the more likely it is that you'll develop scar tissue around the joint — which can lead to stiffness and decreased range of motion.

6. You have new symptoms in other areas of your body

If your shoulder has been hurting for a while now and suddenly you start feeling pain in other areas of your body — particularly in joints like elbows or knees — it could be an indication that there's something else going on with your joints or muscles around them.

7. Your range of motion decreases over time

The muscles around the joint will become tight and restrict movement as they try to protect themselves from further injury or strain. However, it's possible to regain mobility with physical therapy exercises or other hands-on treatments such as medical massage or chiropractic manipulation techniques (which typically involve applying gentle pressure and movement to the affected area).

8. It's getting worse instead of better

chronic shoulder pain

Sometimes an injury will get worse before it starts feeling better — especially if you've been trying to push through the pain rather than resting it — but if it gets worse without any improvement, then you might need to see a pain specialist sooner rather than later.

Your condition may be more serious than you think. The reason for this could be that you're putting pressure on a nerve or tendon tissue, which causes more inflammation and swelling in the area. A pain specialist will be able to help you figure out what's causing this type of pain and how best to address it.

9. Your pain is made worse by certain movements

If certain movements cause pain or make your shoulder feel weak or unstable, this means your condition has gotten worse and needs treatment right away. The problem is likely within the joint itself. For example, if you can't move your arm in specific ways without pain, that's a sign of a possible tear or other problem inside the joint.

10. It's getting in the way of your regular activity

It's getting in the way of your regular activities. If you're having trouble doing your job or performing daily tasks because of your shoulder pain, that's a big red flag. If it's interfering with sleep, too, you should talk to a health professional as soon as possible.

11. It's not easing up with home remedies

It's been three months now, and your shoulder just won't go away. You continue to pop ibuprofen every day as the pain creeps in during the day and wakes you up in the middle of the night. But despite trying over-the-counter drugs and other home remedies that haven't helped, it could be something more serious that needs treatment from a medical professional.

12. You're not seeing a specialist

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Treating your shoulder pain must be your top priority before it gets worse. If you're having persistent problems with your shoulders — such as pain that lasts for weeks at a time — then it's time to seek medical attention from a health professional who specializes in treating musculoskeletal conditions. They are equipped with the necessary tools to diagnose and resolve your shoulder problem completely. They may recommend non-invasive treatment options for relieving and preventing your shoulder pain from worsening.


The bottom line is that most shoulder pain is manageable. Treating any minor injury in its early stages keeps it from becoming more serious. Don't risk ending up with shoulder pain forever—you don't have to struggle for the rest of your life. Getting help from a New York pain management specialist and a solid treatment plan can prevent further injury, and you'll be on the road to recovery in no time.


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