Shoulder Pain

Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara

Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine located in Santa Barbara, CA & Solvang, CA

If you’re experiencing severe or persistent pain and stiffness in your shoulders, your symptoms could be caused by a number of underlying conditions. At the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California, William R. Gallivan, MD, and his team provide high-quality orthopedic care, helping patients address the underlying cause of their shoulder pain. To speak with Dr. Gallivan about your condition, book your visit by phone or online today.

Shoulder Pain

What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain can result from a number of different conditions and injuries. If your shoulder pain is mild and infrequent, at-home remedies like ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain relievers are common and effective solutions. 

If your shoulder pain is persistent and/or severe, discussing your condition with an orthopedic specialist helps you avoid long-term damage to your joints, bones, ligaments, and cartilage. You should book an appointment at the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara if your shoulder pain is accompanied by swelling, redness, and warmth around the joint. 

What are some common shoulder injuries?

Shoulder pain can result from a number of common injuries. They include:


If your shoulder is pulled or rotated with too much force, it can pop out of its socket. A dislocated shoulder can cause pain, weakness, numbness, and bruising. The shoulder joint is the most common joint that experiences dislocation. 


A broken or cracked bone can result in severe shoulder pain. A fracture to the collarbone or humerus (the bone in your arm closest to the shoulder) are the most common fractures that affect the shoulder. 

Rotator cuff tear

Your rotator cuff is made of the tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff can tear from a sudden injury or wear-and-tear of the shoulder tendons. Torn rotator cuffs are common in people who perform repeated overhead motions like athletes, carpenters, and painters. 

Can arthritis cause shoulder pain?

Arthritis refers to a number of conditions that cause inflammation and swelling in the joints, including the shoulder joint. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative condition that results from wear-and-tear on the cartilage that cushions the bones. 

When this cartilage is destroyed, the bones begin to rub against each other, causing pain and limited range of movement in your shoulder. 

How is shoulder pain treated?

Treatment for your shoulder pain depends on the cause. At the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara, the team offers a number of treatments including:

  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Computer-assisted surgery
  • Stem cell injections
  • Arthroscopic tendon repair
  • Shoulder replacement

The team works with you to develop a personalized treatment plan designed to address your specific needs. To speak with an orthopedic specialist about your shoulder pain, book an appointment by phone or online today.