Shoulder pain can cause frustration, sleepless nights, and even financial stress. But what exactly causes shoulder pain?
It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of shoulder pain because there are so many possibilities, including rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, tendonitis, and arthritis.

One effective way to deal with shoulder pain is through Acupuncture. Acupuncture is applied to stimulate the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals, making it easier to move around, reduce swelling, and treat the underlying problems that cause shoulder pain. Read on to learn more about how Acupuncture can help you get back to your best life!

practitioner assessing woman with shoulder pain

What Shoulder Pain Means For Sufferers

Shoulder pain can have a big impact on allowing us to perform daily tasks and stick to our regular routines. We often don’t realise the effect it is having on our daily lives until we can no longer properly function due to the pain. It can make it hard to do simple things like getting dressed or reaching for things, in general, simple movements that we otherwise take for granted.

 It can also cause a lot of other problems, such as:

  • Feelings of anger and helplessness due to being in constant pain and discomfort
  • Sleep disturbances: which alone impact mood and increases sensitivity to pain
  • Doing a variety of things we really look forward to- things like sports or hobbies, which significantly alters our day to day interactions and general quality of life
  • Financial stresses due to the effects the pain and limited motion has on our ability to productively work

In some cases, people don’t reach out for help because they are afraid of what is causing their pain, what type of treatment they will need or how much it will cost. This makes the pain worse through simply failing to take appropriate actions to get on top of the issue, whilst further aggravating the condition by continuing with certain activities.

What Makes My Shoulder Hurt?

Shoulder pain can be caused by many different things, and figuring out the exact cause can be challenging. The main causes of shoulder pain are:

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Our rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that stabilise our shoulder joint and allow us to perform many highly coordinated movements throughout a wide range of motion. When these rotator cuff muscles or their tendons that surround the shoulder joint become injured, this is called a rotator cuff injury. These injuries can be caused by doing the same thing over and over, like in sports or manual labour, or by a single movement in an accident such as a fall. Pain and weakness in the shoulder, as well as trouble lifting or reaching above the head, are signs of a rotator cuff injury.


When the fluid-filled sacs called ‘Bursa’ that cushion the shoulder joint become inflamed, this is called bursitis. This can be caused by doing the same thing over and over, like throwing a ball or alternatively by traumatic injuries. Bursitis causes pain and soreness in the shoulder and makes it hard to move the arm.


When the tendons in the shoulder that connect the muscles to the bones become inflamed, this is called tendonitis. This can be caused by an injury or by doing the same thing over and over, like in sports or manual labour. Tendonitis causes pain and weakness in the shoulder and makes it hard to lift heavy things or reach up high. When tendons also suffer from partial or complete tears, the pain gets worse and also results in significantly reduced range of motion.


Arthritis is a condition where the joints wear out over time due to repetitive or poorly executed movements especially where there is pre-existing instability. There are many kinds of arthritis, but the most common kind that affects the shoulder is osteoarthritis. Pain and stiffness in the shoulder and trouble moving the arm that progressively gets worse over time are tell-tale signs of osteoarthritis.

Other Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can also be caused by things like a frozen shoulder, in which the shoulder joint becomes stiff and hard to move, or a dislocated shoulder, in which the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket.

Treatment Options For Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is usually diagnosed with a physical exam, imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs, and sometimes blood tests. To determine what is causing the pain, you may also be asked about your medical history, and your symptoms.

Shoulder pain and swelling can often be helped through resting the shoulder and arm, applying ice to the affected area, and over-the-counter pain medications. Therapy with an Acupuncturist is beneficial to help get on top of the situation. In time, exercises should be prescribed to work on regaining strength in the supporting muscles, so the range of motion the shoulder can achieve restores to its previous state.

Shoulder pain isn’t always caused by a specific injury or condition, which is important to remember. Shoulder pain can sometimes be caused by bad posture or a change in how your muscles work.

acupuncture for shoulder pain

Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for shoulder pain because it is a natural, whole-body approach that helps relieve pain and inflammation.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals, called endorphins. The release of these endorphins helps the body heal itself. Acupuncture also brings more blood to the focus area, which helps reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

One of the best things about Acupuncture for shoulder pain is that it can treat the cause of the pain instead of just the symptoms. Acupuncture can help relieve pain, make it easier to move around, and reduce swelling and inflammation. Acupuncture can also help treat other underlying problems, like poor posture or muscle imbalances, that may be causing the pain initially.

Acupuncture is also a good way to treat health problems because it doesn’t involve medications and isn’t an invasive treatment option like surgical procedures are. This makes it a great choice for people who want a natural and comprehensive approach to deal with their pain.

Shoulder pain can be treated in different ways, depending on the person, but most people need between six and twelve sessions to not only relieve symptoms but completely resolve shoulder pain. The average Acupuncture session takes between 45 minutes and an hour. Here at Evolution we have a variety of treatment modalities we are able to use during our treatment sessions to maximise results. During Acupuncture, the needles will stay in for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

It’s important to remember that Acupuncture is not a quick fix and that most people need more than one session to feel better. Also, to get the best results, it’s important to keep doing self-care activities like exercising regularly, making ergonomic changes to your work-station or household and learning how to best deal with stress.

Ready To Get On Top Of Your Shoulder Pain?

Acupuncture is a very effective way to treat shoulder pain and inflammation. It is a natural and holistic way to deal with pain and swelling. Acupuncture can also be used to treat situations that may be causing the pain in the first place. Acupuncture is non-invasive and has a low risk of side effects, which makes it a safe and effective choice for most people.

If you have been suffering from shoulder pain then like many others, you are likely fed up with the pain and looking for a long term solution. We encourage you to consider Acupuncture as a means to treat it, to get lasting results.

Feel free to reach out to our team on (02) 4709 6727 or book an appointment online. We look forward to speaking to you about how we can help in your situation.