Shoulder Specialist

Urgently Ortho

Orthopedic Urgent Care & Sports Medicine Clinic

The severe shoulder pain associated with an injury or dislocation leaves no doubt that you need medical attention. Moderate shoulder pain should never be ignored, however, because it could signal an underlying condition that may worsen without treatment. Ephraim Dickinson, MD and Brieana Brady, PA-C at Urgently Ortho have extensive experience treating your shoulder pain and providing therapies to prevent future problems. If you have questions about shoulder pain, call one of the office in San Francisco or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Shoulder Q & A

Urgently Ortho

What causes shoulder pain?

Your shoulder consists of several joints supported by a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff. Because your rotator cuff allows a wide range of arm movement, it’s susceptible to injuries and problems that cause shoulder pain. You may experience pain in your shoulder blade, front shoulder pain, or top of shoulder pain depending on the cause of your symptoms.

Shoulder problems frequently treated by the team at Urgently Ortho include:

Bursitis and Tendonitis

Inflammation of the bursa that cushion the joint often occurs together with rotator cuff tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to the shoulder bones. Both conditions cause pain and limited movement.

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injury includes partial or complete tearing of tendons and muscles. Rotator cuff tears may be due to injury, degenerative changes, overuse, and daily wear and tear over time.

Shoulder Impingement

Often called “swimmer’s shoulder,” this occurs when you lift your arm and the top of your shoulder blade rubs, or impinges on, your rotator cuff tendons. Impingement leads to bursitis and tendinitis.

Shoulder Dislocation or Instability

A dislocation can be partial or complete, both cause pain and unsteadiness in your shoulder. Your shoulder can dislocate forward, backward, or downward. One of the most common dislocations is when the upper arm bone moves forward and out of the socket, called an anterior instability.

Once you have a torn rotator cuff, dislocations frequently recur. It’s also possible to partially dislocate your shoulder, an injury known as shoulder subluxation.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of shoulder arthritis. It develops slowly over time, causing progressive cartilage degeneration, pain, inflammation, and joint stiffness. Shoulder dislocations and fractures can increase your risk of post-traumatic arthritis.


Shoulder fractures are often caused by a fall or high-energy injuries, such as a car accident or contact sports injury. Clavicle fracture or broken collarbone is a common result of falls and accidents.

Other problems that could be causing your shoulder pain include:

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Pulled shoulder muscle
  • Shoulder strain
  • Labral tear
  • Shoulder separation
  • Pulled arm muscles

How is shoulder pain treated?

Your treatment at Urgently Ortho is always customized to meet your individual needs. Based on the cause and severity of your shoulder pain, your treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Change in activities to rest your shoulder
  • Shoulder exercises
  • Using a sling to take the weight off your shoulder
  • Physical therapy to diminish pain and inflammation, restore strength, and regain movement
  • Medications to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Arthroscopy to diagnose and treat pain in the shoulder joint
  • Shoulder surgery to remove scar tissue, repair torn soft tissues, stabilize your shoulder, or replace your shoulder

Don’t continue to suffer from shoulder pain or immobility. Call Urgently Ortho or use online booking to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dickinson today.

Conditions & Treatments


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