Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

When should I seek treatment if the top of my shoulder hurts?

top of my shoulder hurts

A little shoulder pain usually isn’t something to be worried about. You could have a sore shoulder after working hard in your yard or from reaching just a bit too high in your cabinet. A sore shoulder usually goes away after a little rest and home treatment. However, if you have pain at the top of your shoulder that lingers or feels worse than usual, you may need to seek treatment.

When you should seek treatment for pain at the top of your shoulder

The top of your shoulder is where there are many muscles, tendons and ligaments that act as the rotator cuff, which supports your shoulder and powers most of its motions. When you have pain in this region, it can be difficult to use your entire arm for many of your daily activities, such as getting dressed or taking a shower. 

Again, some soreness in this area is to be expected throughout life, but there are also conditions and injuries that affect this area that require professional treatment. You may need to visit a health care professional for an examination and treatment if:

  • You are having breathing difficulties and chest pain — Sudden shoulder pain accompanied by breathing difficulties and chest pain can be the sign of a heart attack. Seek immediate medical assistance if you have these symptoms.
  • You have been in a traumatic incident — A fall or an impact to your body can injure the shoulder.
  • You have swelling, redness and tenderness around your shoulder — These are usually the signs of a condition that requires professional treatment.
  • Your pain isn’t responding to home treatment — If you’ve had pain and it hasn’t gone away after a few days of rest or home treatment, you may need to visit a professional for help.

Treating pain at the top of your shoulder

Many people with top of the shoulder pain visit physical therapists for treatment. Physical therapists, like those at Peak Performance, specialize in treatments that help reduce and prevent shoulder pain using methods like:

  • Therapeutic exercises and stretches
  • Joint mobilization
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Posture guidance
  • Patient education
  • Relaxation techniques and more

Visit Peak Performance Sports & Physical Therapy for shoulder pain treatment

Are you suffering from shoulder pain that limits the use of your entire arm? Our physical therapists at Peak Performance are here to help you manage your pain and improve your quality of life. Contact our team today for more information about shoulder pain or to schedule an initial appointment.