We can effectively diagnose and treat your shoulder pain at Skare Spine & Performance in Rochester, MN.

The shoulder is a complex structure that can result in many different injuries.

Common Shoulder Injuries:

  • Rotator cuff strain
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Frozen shoulder / Adhesive capsulitis
  • Instability due to torn labrum
  • Sports Injuries- often from repetitive overhead motion or falls
  • AC Joint sprain
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Referred pain from cervical disc or neck pain
  • Degeneration / Osteoarthritis due to age and wear and tear

Why do you experience shoulder pain?

The shoulder is a complex joint and is the second most unstable joint in the body. Because the shoulder joint allows for so much range of motion, this can leave it vulnerable to injury. With the shoulder complex containing multiple bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and a labrum, there can be many different sources of pain generators and causes of dysfunction, which is why evaluating the cause of injury is important.

Two of the most common risk factors:

1. Overuse due to repetitive motions due to sports or work. Sports like baseball, softball, volleyball, and tennis require these motions. Jobs like carpentry and painting are repetitive and can lead to injury over time if improper biomechanics are used. 

2. Postural stress, known as Upper-Crossed Syndrome, is caused by positional stress endured over long periods, mostly from sitting in a chair or desk all day.

How Skare Spine & Performance can help:

In Rochester, we are here to find the source of your shoulder pain. Too often, providers only focus on the site of pain or tightness. We will find and treat the root cause of shoulder injuries to get lasting results and make your shoulder resilient.

Treatments for Shoulder Injuries:

Your treatment plan is unique to you and your condition and may consist of:

Schedule Appointment


I had a lot of shoulder pain, and Dr. Nate was able to explain everything going on and give me a plan to resolve it. It feels back to 100% now. Great experience!


-Mitchell I., Chatfield, MN

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff, comprised of four muscles called the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis, moves the shoulder in multiple directions and even helps stabilize the joint. Without proper stabilization, stress on the rotator cuff increases, causing strain, tendinitis, or tear over time. Rotator cuff injuries can be nagging, but there are often excellent results with conservative care. 

Frozen Shoulder

Also known as Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive Capsulitis is a condition where it may be challenging to put on a coat, reach behind you, and strap your bra. Frozen shoulder most happens in women who are over the age of 40. Risk factors include previous injury that caused immobilization, diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid issues.

The first goal is to find what is causing the frozen shoulder. Treatment will also consist of mobilizing tissues to free the shoulder's range of motion and rehabilitation to strengthen the shoulder.

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is one of the more common injuries, especially if you are a throwing athlete or have a job with repetitive overhead motions. 

With shoulder impingement, typically, a rotator cuff muscle (the supraspinatus) gets pinched or strained in the shoulder and can result in a sharp, dull, or achy discomfort.  

Like many shoulder injuries, scapular dyskinesis (instability) can cause impingement. Correct shoulder blade rotation is important when you raise your arm. Improper muscle activation or instability can cause it to rotate incorrectly, causing the glenohumeral (shoulder joint) to compensate; over time, this can lead to impingement. If left untreated, this can become a tendinosis or full-thickness tear, resulting in a longer recovery. 

Upper crossed syndrome can also lead to impingement due to excessive rounding and altered shoulder biomechanics. 

AC Joint Sprain

The AC joint is short for the acromioclavicular joint.

This joint forms when the collarbone meets the shoulder blade. The AC joint can get sprained from falls directly on the shoulder or from falling on an outstretched hand. There can be different severities of AC joint sprains. Depending on the severity and your goals, research shows AC sprains have excellent outcomes when managed conservatively.

Shoulder stabilization exercises and dry needling are our two most effective treatments for AC joint sprains. When trauma to the shoulder area happens, it can cause muscles to tighten up and disturb the synergy of their movements (known as a protective pattern). Shoulder stabilization exercises and dry needling are two of the most effective treatments for this injury.

Instability due to Labral Tear

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, leaving it vulnerable to instability and dislocations. The labrum in the shoulder joint gives extra protection and increases stability. However, when the shoulder dislocates, it can cause a torn labrum. Depending on multiple factors such as severity, sport, age, and lifestyle goals, surgery to fix a torn labrum may or may not be an option.

With conservative treatment, our primary approach will be to increase shoulder stabilization with Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization.

Sports Injuries

Sports are one of the main culprits of shoulder injuries. Repetitive overhead sports and weightlifting can result in overuse injuries. Over time this can lead to decreased performance. Whether you are experiencing shoulder pain or not, it is important to proactively work on your shoulders to stay injury free and increase performance.

Sports Injuries

Degenerative Joint Disease / Arthritis

As we age and over long periods of "wear and tear," the cartilage in our ball and socket joint of the shoulder can wear down, causing osteoarthritis. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Our job with therapy is to mobilize and strengthen the shoulder to keep it moving well.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome happens when there is nerve entrapment and blood flow restriction between the neck and arm. 

TOS can happen because of a few different factors:

  1. Tight neck muscles called the scalenes
  2. Overly tight pectoralis minor
  3. Narrowing of the space between the collarbone and the first rib.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can cause sensations of a dead arm, numbness, tingling, and pain down the arm. 

Cervical Disc or Radiculopathy

In many cases, shoulder pain and shoulder blade pain can be coming from the neck.

Intervertebral discs in our spine have strong outer fibers called the annulus fibrosis with an inner "jelly" like material called the nucleus pulposus.

Due to trauma, repetitive motion, improper heavy lifting, genetics, and other risk factors, the annulus fibrosis can break down, letting the jelly-like nucleus pulposus create a bulge or breakthrough, causing disc herniation.

Herniations can cause inflammation and irritation around the nerve resulting in severe pain. This pain can travel to your shoulder blade or down your arm. The pain in your arm can be sharp, electrical, or shooting. There can also be sensory changes that include paresthesia, numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation.

Different causes of cervical disc pain/radiculopathy include:

  • Manual labor
  • Degenerative Disc Disease or Arthritis
  • Auto Accidents
  • Collision sports
  • Repetitive motions for long periods

In most cases, you can avoid surgery or injections. Our first goal in the office is to reduce the pain from your arm or shoulder blade and get it to "centralize" to your spine. We often do that by finding a pain-free repetitive motion of your spine that you can do at home to speed up the recovery process. After that, we will work on restoring proper joint movement and muscle activation to prevent this from occurring again and progressing.

Learn More About Disc Injuries

Shoulder pain can be nagging and annoying.

Don't let it last any longer.

Schedule Appointment Call Today