1776 Ygnacio Valley Road

Suite 106
Walnut Creek, CA 94598


Mon - Fri 10:00a - 7:00p

Sat-Sun by Appointment


(925) 945-1155

Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis)

Arthritis is an inflammatory and/or degenerative condition that generally affects the major joints, including the shoulders. Its primary characteristics include pain, stiffness and swelling, resulting in loss of mobility and function of the involved joint(s).

Patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the shoulders may also experience the sensation of tightness in the soft tissues and tendons surrounding the joint. This contributes to the restriction of movement, in addition to the discomfort.


Over the years, our shoulders may incur wear and tear, due to repetitive microtrauma and/or the aging process. One of the first components that can suffer damage is the tendon — a dense cord or band of fibrous connective issue that anchors a muscle to bone. When muscles contract the attached bones move, along with their respective joints.

Overuse of the shoulders is one of the most common causes of tendinitis. This is often seen in sports-related activities like ball throwing or swimming.

As stated above, age and degenerative diseases are two known causes of chronic or recurring tendinitis. The deterioration of the tendons can cause significant shoulder injuries such as tearing or splitting, leading to pain or discomfort, stiffness and swelling. This condition has been given such names as “tendon degeneration”, “tendinopathy”, or “tendinosis”.

Other Causes of Shoulder Pain or Immobility

The “rotator cuff” is a collective term referring to four muscles that control movement relative to their respective anchoring points on the shoulder blade and upper arm. Shoulder injuries or disorders involving the rotator cuff usually result in pain, limited mobility or some element of discomfort. Non-traumatic rotator cuff injuries (injuries that are not not the result of a sudden, instant trauma) are now believed to have their origin with alterations from normal in the postural orientation of the shoulder blades. This sets the stage for repetitive movements or repetitive stress forces to produce injury or structural disease to the muscles/tendons comprising the rotator cuff.

The shoulder joint is considered a ‘ball and socket’ joint. However, the ‘socket’ that is formed in the shoulder blade is quite shallow and small, covering, at most, only a third of the ‘ball’ formed at the upper end of the upper arm bone. The socket is deepened by a fibrocartilaginous ring that encircles the socket and is attached to its rim. This ring is called the “glenoid labrum.” When this cartilage is torn, it is called a “labral tear.” Labral tears may result from instant injury, strong or repetitive forces, or as part of the aging process. “SLAP Tears” are the most common labrum tears and are associated with strong or repeated stress forces applied by the bicep muscle-tendon. Like rotator cuff injuries, non-traumatic labrum tears are now believed to begin with altered postural /spatial orientation of the shoulder blade(s) and superimposed chronic stress forces.

Bursitis, on the other hand, results from the swelling or inflammation of bursae. Bursae are fluid filled sacs that are located in strategic positions near joints. Bursae secrete lubricating fluid designed to reduce friction between the gliding soft tissues near joints. “Subacromial bursitis” is the most common form of bursitis involving the shoulder and usually results from repetitive compression/rubbing by adjacent structural components.

Adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as “frozen shoulder” is a curious condition associated with scar tissue infiltration (“adhesions”) within the “capsule” surrounding the ball and socket joint. It usually presents itself as a spontaneous and extremely painful inability to lift the arm up and away from the side. It can occur after previous shoulder injuries or surgery. It more commonly occurs in people over 40, particularly women. It is sometimes linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Why ignore the symptoms? If you or a loved one is suffering from shoulder pain, swelling or inflammation, get an accurate diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

At Performance Sport Care, sports chiropractor Dr. Douglas Cancel and team provide personalized care and problem focused treatment to alleviate the pain and restore function and mobility in your shoulder joints. We serve the residents of Walnut Creek, CA, and the nearby communities of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Danville and Lafayette.

Discover advanced, effective treatment for shoulder pain from a chiropractor who specializes at Performance Sport Care. Feel free to contact us at (925) 945-1155 or use our Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation.

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