Anterior Shoulder Pain: What is Causing It and How to Fix It

Anterior Shoulder Pain: What is Causing It and How to Fix It

If you’re experiencing anterior (front) shoulder pain, you’re not alone. This is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. In this blog post, we will discuss what might be causing your anterior shoulder pain and how to fix it!

Why is the front of my shoulder painful?

The shoulder is a complex joint that is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is a highly mobile joint that allows for a wide range of motion. This increased mobility also makes the shoulder more susceptible to injury.

One common cause of anterior shoulder pain is impingement syndrome, which occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated. This can happen due to overuse or repetitive motions, and it can also be caused by a sudden impact or fall. Impingement syndrome is often treated with a combination of rest, ice, and physical therapy. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. 

Another possible cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinitis, which is similar to impingement syndrome but typically involves more of an inflammatory response of the tendons compared to that of impingement syndrome. Rotator cuff tendinitis is often treated with rest, ice, and physiotherapy, but surgery may also be necessary in severe cases.

How physical therapy help with shoulder pain courtesy of BeActive Physiotherapy and Wellness. (Read the caption)

How do you relieve anterior shoulder pain?

Anyone who has ever suffered from anterior shoulder pain knows that it can be a debilitating condition. The pain can make it difficult to perform simple tasks like brushing your hair or reaching for a glass of water. However, there are also a number of effective treatments that can help relieve the pain. For example, icing the area for 20 minutes several times a day can help to reduce initial pain and discomfort. In addition, performing gentle stretches and exercises can help to promote healing and prevent further discomfort. With the right treatment plan, anterior shoulder pain can be effectively managed.

Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for anterior shoulder pain, as it can help to improve range of motion and reduce inflammation. In addition, physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, which can help to support the joint and prevent further pain. If you are suffering from anterior shoulder pain, consider seeking out physiotherapy for treatment.

What are the warning signs of a rotator cuff tear?

The rotator cuff is made up of a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff tear can occur due to a sudden injury or from wear and tear over time. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain and weakness in the shoulder, as well as a decrease in range of motion. The pain may be worse at night, and it may radiate down the arm. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor or a physiotherapist for an accurate diagnosis.

The rotator cuff courtesy of Market Mall Physiotherapy. (Read the caption)

What does shoulder bursitis feel like?

When you have bursitis, the bursa in your shoulder becomes inflamed. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac located in the shoulder joint that functions to reduce friction between the tendons and bones that make up the joint. Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive movements or by increasing volume of activity like weightlifting too quickly. Shoulder bursitis will also sometimes be referred to as impingement syndrome, swimmer’s shoulder, or thrower’s shoulder. 

The symptoms of shoulder bursitis include pain and tenderness around the shoulder joint, reduced range of motion in the shoulder, weakness in the arm, and a dull ache that gets worse with activities like reaching overhead. In some cases, the area around the shoulder may feel warm to the touch. Shoulder bursitis is often treated with a combination of rest, ice, and physical therapy. Surgery is rarely needed for this condition

There you have it! In this article we have detailed some common causes of anterior shoulder pain and what you can do to fix it. If you would like to find the root cause of your anterior shoulder pain you can find a top physiotherapy clinic near you by clicking the search button on this page.

Shoudler blade control courtesy of PhysioPlus Health Group. (Read the caption)


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

The shoulder contains the rotator cuff muscles which includes the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis muscles. Additionally, the biceps tendon is located in the front of the shoulder. These muscles work together to stabilize the arm when we lift it. A rotator cuff tear or biceps injury is a common cause of anterior shoulder pain. Symptoms include pain and weakness in the shoulder, as well as a decrease in range of motion. Treatment for a rotator cuff tear may include rest, ice, and physical therapy. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.

The anterior shoulder is a common site for a muscle strain to occur. Muscle strains occur when the muscles are stretched beyond their limits, causing the muscle fibers to tear. Symptoms of a muscle strain include pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area. Treatment for a muscle strain includes rest, ice, and physical therapy.

To stretch the front of your shoulder, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart in the middle of a doorframe. Reach your right arm to hold the right side of the frame. Then step forward and rotate your trunk to the left. This should allow you to feel a stretch in the front of your right shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then repeat.

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patient’s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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