Acromioclavicular separation: the collar bone and the shoulder blade become separate

  • Symptoms: pain when moving the shoulder, obvious change in shape
  • Causes: direct fall onto the shoulder, sudden blow to the shoulder

Rotator cuff strain/tear: one or multiple of the muscles that make up the rotator cuff tear

  • Symptoms: pain when moving the shoulder that is worse at night, cannot lift or rotate the arm with the same range of motion, pain radiates down the arm
  • Causes: aging, lifting or catching a heavy object, overuse, poor blood supply to the shoulder, fall onto an outstretched arm

Subacromial impingement: muscles or tendons of the rotator cuff get pinched between bones

  • Symptoms: pain on the front or side of the shoulder when raising the arm, loss of mobility or muscle strength, persistent aching especially at night
  • Causes: bone spurs under the top of the shoulder blade, swelling of the rotator cuff muscles, bursitis

Thoracic outlet syndrome: blood vessels or nerves of the shoulder are compressed

  • Symptoms: pain in the neck, shoulder, or arm, numbness and tingling in the fingers, discoloration in the area
  • Causes: weight lifting, obesity, tumors, bony growths 

Biceps tendinitis: the tissue that connects the biceps to the shoulder bones becomes inflamed

  • Symptoms: pain in the front of the shoulder that is worse with overhead lifting, pain radiates down the upper arm, occasional snapping sound or sensation
  • Causes: overhead lifting, aging, repetitive activity