The World on Your Shoulders: Why It’s Happening

//The World on Your Shoulders: Why It’s Happening

The World on Your Shoulders: Why It’s Happening

By |2019-01-07T17:46:23+00:00October 30th, 2018|Blog|

By: Coco Ang, PT

Do you feel like craning your neck, rotating your shoulders or just massaging yourself every now and then to help relieve shoulder pain?

There is a reason why stock phrases like ‘the world on your shoulders’ are used so widely! They instantly conjure up an image of extreme discomfort which everyone can relate to.

If your shoulders are already burdened with responsibilities, don’t burden them with pain. There are a number of reasons why your shoulders may be giving you a hard time. It always helps to understand your anatomy better in order to prevent your body from unwanted damage or avoid doing things that harm it.

While there can be several causes of shoulder pain, rotator cuff problems is one which is widely prevalent in people above the age of 50. 25% of the older generation is complaining about shoulder pains due to this!

Here are some reasons why this problem exists.


Tendons are thick cords that tether muscles to bones. When these cords become irritated or inflamed, it causes acute pain in your shoulders, also known as rotator cuff tendinitis.

This condition is commonly referred to as swimmer’s shoulder or tennis shoulder in sports jargon, because it affects athletes engaged in shoulder work that requires raising arms above the head.

It can even be caused by sleeping on a shoulder in the wrong position or keeping your shoulder in a fixed posture for a long time.

Frozen Shoulder

This is a condition which restrains the movement of the shoulder such that you are unable to rotate your arm beyond a certain angle after which it causes intense pain.

This occurs because scar tissue that develops over your joints, called the capsule, becomes thicker and tighter.


Bursae are small liquid-filled pouches that create a cushion between bones and soft tissues to ease friction related to movement.

Excessive use of the shoulder affects the ‘subacromial bursa’ by inflaming it. This results in subacromial bursitis. This condition impairs normal functioning because even simple tasks like washing your face or changing a shirt become painful.


Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent arthritis in shoulders which is commonly referred to as ‘wear and tear’. This may either result from sports injuries or develop chronically in overworked shoulders. Arthritis is popularly known to cause pain and stiffness.


When the ball of the upper arm comes out of the shoulder socket a dislocation has occurred. It can also be partial where the ball is only partially out of the socket and is known as subluxation. Dislocations can cause immense pain and worse if they lead to the development of arthritis.

Sports and Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI) provides physio services in the greater Toronto area and has osteoarthritis specialists on board to help you recover from your shoulder pain. We also provide acupuncture services, concussion services and special sports massages for injuries caused by sports mishaps.

Currently based in the greater Toronto area, we are happy to take clients who need relief from shoulder pains and muscle strains! Call us right away.  

About: Dr. Douglas Stoddard is a sports medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI). After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sports Medicine. He is also a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine and has his focussed practice designation in Sport Medicine from the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Stoddard is a consultant to the Canadian Military and has consulted with well over 30,000 unique patients in his career. Dr. Stoddard is constantly searching for new and promising therapies to help SEMI patients, and is responsible for developing the RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy Program. He is married and the proud father of two boys, is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.

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