What is Causing Stiffness of My Shoulder?

If you’re experiencing trouble lifting your arms above your head, pain with changing shirts, or weakness in your arm, you may be suffering from a stiff shoulder. This stiff shoulder can be caused by a condition that can limit mobility and cause pain with everyday tasks. There are various types of conditions that can be causing your stiff shoulder and creating pain.


Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder affects about two percent of the general population. It causes pain, stiffness and loss of motion in the shoulder and makes it very hard to move over time. While it’s not exactly known what causes frozen shoulder, it does involve swelling and contraction of the glenohumeral ligaments. The most common symptoms are stiffness and loss of motion of the shoulder but can also include dull or aching on the outside of the shoulder or upper arm.



Degeneration of the joints in the shoulder is referred to as arthritis and is caused by overuse of the shoulder. Individuals that do hard labor work, like construction workers and painters, are more likely to develop arthritis in the shoulder. Symptoms typically include pain at the front of the shoulder or on top of the joint, limited range of motion and popping or clicking with movement of the arm. Your physician may treat arthritis with injections, a splint or brace, and modified daily activities. Surgery may be required in severe cases.


Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears are a relatively common cause of pain, weakness and stiffness in the shoulder. With a rotator cuff tear, daily activities like changing clothes and brushing your hair may become difficult. Most often, surgery is required to repair a torn rotator cuff, but the surgery is usually minimally invasive. If the tear is severe, you may require an open surgery to complete the repair.


SLAP Tears

A SLAP tear is when there is a tear of the labrum in the shoulder where it connect with your bicep tendon. The labrum is a ring of cartilage around the should joint socket. A tear of this ring is known as a Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior (SLAP) tear. Often, these kinds of tears are a result of trauma to the shoulder and will cause a catching sensation with movement, as well as, pain. Treatment usually includes rest and anti-inflammatory medications, but if the tear doesn’t heal, surgery may be required.


If you’re experiencing shoulder stiffness or pain, Plano Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center can help you find a diagnosis and treatment that best suits you. We have been providing our services to the Frisco, Texas and Plano, Texas areas for over 40 years. Our surgeons, staff and Physical Therapies are ready to help treat all conditions. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our of our specialists.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Dr. Matthew C. Comley

Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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Dr. Randal L. Troop

Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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Dr. Michael S. Howard

Shoulder, Elbow and Upper extremity
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Dr. John E. McGarry

General Orthopedics, Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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Dr. Earl R. Lund

Shoulder, Elbow, Hand and Wrist
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