Shoulder Pain in Asheville, NC

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what is chronic shoulder pain?


We are here to help you discover and treat the underlying cause of your discomfort with effective and creative approaches, so you can get back to your active life as soon as possible.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

There are a variety of issues that can cause shoulder pain. The most common source of shoulder pain is called bursitis or rotator cuff tendinitis. This condition occurs when the rotator cuff tendons become trapped under the bony area of the shoulder. This causes the tendons to become damaged or inflamed, leading to pain. Shoulder pain can also be caused by injury, overuse, arthritis in the joint, bone spurs, nerve issues, or poor posture and mechanics. Sometimes, shoulder pain can stem from another body region, such as the lungs or neck. This type of pain can be felt even when at rest.

What Are the Risk Factors for Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is a common complaint that can stem from a variety of causes, from acute injuries to chronic conditions. Knowing the risk factors for shoulder pain can help individuals take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment when necessary. A wide range of risk factors related to the body's makeup, lifestyle, and activities could lead to shoulder discomfort, such as:

  • Age: Older adults are more susceptible to conditions like rotator cuff injuries, osteoarthritis, and frozen shoulder.
  • Occupation: Repetitive arm movements or overhead activities at work can increase the risk of shoulder pain.
  • Sports Participation: Athletes of baseball, tennis, and swimming, for example, who participate in sports requiring overhead actions, have a higher risk of shoulder injuries.
  • Poor Posture: Chronic poor posture can lead to shoulder discomfort.
  • Previous Shoulder Injury: A history of shoulder injuries may lead to more shoulder pain.
  • Weak Muscles: Weak shoulder muscles and lack of flexibility can increase the risk of injuries and shoulder pain.
  • Overuse: Repetitive shoulder use can lead to injuries, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Genetics: Certain genetic conditions can predispose individuals to musculoskeletal problems, including shoulder issues.
  • Health Conditions: Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and thyroid disorders can trigger complications like shoulder pain.
  • Carrying Heavy Bags: Regularly carrying heavy shoulder bags or backpacks can strain the shoulder and neck muscles.


Shoulder pain comes in many forms and varieties. Depending on the underlying condition that’s causing your discomfort, you may experience:

  • A dull ache
  • A sharp or severe pain
  • Gradual or sudden discomfort
  • Pain that’s worse with overuse, inactivity or everyday activities
  • An inability to move your shoulder with limited range of motion
  • Muscle spasms Numbness/tingling
  • Weakness
  • Instability
  • Limited range of motion and stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Painful sleep

how is shoulder pain diagnosed?

Shoulder pain can be caused by countless conditions that can make performing daily tasks and leading an active lifestyle feel impossible. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Bursitis
  • Acute or chronic rotator cuff tendinitis/tendinosis
  • Rotator cuff and biceps tendon tears
  • Labral tears
  • Impingement
  • Instability
  • Arthritis
  • AC joint pain
  • Fractures

When you arrive at the Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine for shoulder pain treatment, our first priority will be to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Because there are so many causes of shoulder pain, this is a critical step that will largely influence the effectiveness of our treatment approach. As such, Dr. Lehman will take the time necessary to identify the correct diagnosis before your treatment begins – ensuring a more effective, convenient, and affordable experience for you.

To begin the diagnosis process, we will collect detailed information about your symptoms and medical history. From there, we will examine your shoulder and perform comprehensive tests to identify what’s causing your pain and joint mobility challenges. Once we’ve identified the underlying cause, we will be able to prescribe very specific treatment approaches that can resolve the issue, relieve your pain, and restore your quality of life.

Oftentimes a dynamic diagnostic ultrasound will be performed to identify the cause of pain and document the extent of the injury. In cases where labral tears or arthritis is suspected, an MRI or an MR Arthrogram (MRI with injected dye) is promptly obtained.

how is shoulder pain treated?

ARO is the premier destination in Western North Carolina for innovative and alternative treatments for shoulder pain. We cater to athletes and athletic individuals who are not interested in simply masking their discomfort with medications or temporary relief from cortisone injections. Rather, we offer minimally-invasive treatments to maximize your body’s natural healing response and potentially improve the underlying etiology of your discomfort, so you can make a full return to your active lifestyle.

We specialize in regenerative, innovative, and non-surgical treatment approaches that have helped many of our patients find relief from their shoulder pain.

If you have shoulder pain and are interested in effective, noninvasive, and exciting new treatments, request an appointment with Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

Shoulder Pain FAQ

What kind of tests can diagnose shoulder pain?

  • Dynamic diagnostic ultrasound
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • X-rays
  • Neer test for shoulder impingement
  • Speed's test for tendonitis

What are the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff?

Symptoms of a torn rotator cuff often include pain or weakness when raising your arm, popping or clicking sounds in the shoulder, and pain that gets worse at night or when resting.

How can I treat shoulder pain at home?

Mild to moderate shoulder pain can be treated with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain is persistent or worsens, contact Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to schedule a shoulder pain examination.

Get Relief For Shoulder Pain

You don't have to live with shoulder pain affecting your work, hobbies, sleep, and free time. At Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Christie Lehman can work with you to create a personalized plan to treat a wide variety of shoulder pain causes. Whether you're dealing with symptoms of bursitis, a rotator cuff tear, arthritis, and more, our team offers innovative treatment options to help you find relief. Contact our Asheville, NC office today to learn more and schedule a consultation. Let us treat your shoulder pain to help you find relief and get back to a more comfortable quality of life.

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