New York Spine Institute Spine Services

Spine Conditions: Shoulder and Arm Pain


At some point, like the majority of American adults, you may suffer with some degree of pain at some point in your life. At that point, you will want to understand what options you have available for treatment. At New York Spine Institute, our pain management specialists who deal with shoulder and arm pain, come equipped with specialized training along with unique perspectives when evaluating, diagnosing and treating all different types of pain.* Apart of our team are superior fellowship trained leading pain management physicians, well versed in interventional pain management procedures, spine care and sports medicine.

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Why Choose New York Spine Institute

Quality Care

At NYSI, our doctors are experienced and willing to give you personalized and high quality care based on your specific diagnosis. We want to be able to provide you with your proper treatment options.

Industry Leaders

Under the supervision of our medical director, Alexandre B. de Moura, M.D. FAAOS, our spine doctors at New York Spine Institute are industry leaders. All are well versed with knowledge pertaining to various neck and spine disorders that make them prepared to provide all of our patients with suitable treatment options.

Multiple Languages

Our professional staff here at NYSI speak a variety of languages in order to better communicate with our patients. The languages they speak are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Russian. Our team is ready and looking forward to help serve the needs of our patients always.

Understanding the Causes Of Your Shoulder and Arm Pain

There can be many contributions to shoulder or arm pain, but the most prevalent for either is rotator cuff tendinitis. This condition stems from swollen tendons.

Another common cause linked to shoulder pain is impingement syndrome. This is where the rotator cuff gets caught between the acromion and the humeral head. Referred pain (where another injury causes stress to other body parts) can also be a leading cause that affects your shoulder and arm.

Other causes can include:

  • Arthritis
  • Torn cartilage
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Swollen bursa sacs or tendons
  • Bone spurs
  • Pinched nerve in the neck or shoulder
  • Broken bones in the shoulder or arm
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Dislocation of the bone
  • Repetitive usage after injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Heart attack

If you are experiencing left arm pain, it is also possible for it to be related to a heart condition. Angina is highly connected to causing pain in the arm and shoulder. This is when decreased blood flow to the heart occurs.


If the problem persists and you begin to experience fever, lasting bruising, heat and tenderness around the joint, or an inability to move your shoulder or arm, then it is recommended to seek medical help.

Along with this if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Pain in the neck or jaw

Treatment depends upon the cause and how expansive the shoulder or arm pain is. Some treatments are as straightforward as physical therapy, sling or shoulder immobilizer, or surgery.

It is possible that your doctor may prescribe medication along with this. This can be along the lines of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids.

If the shoulder or arm pain is minimal, then it can be treated at home. Icing the irritated area for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day for several days can help. It is important to remember to wrap the ice bag around a towel to avoid layng the ice directly on your skin as this can cause frostbite and end up burning the skin.

Resting the arm and shoulder for a few days can also help in this case before returning to your normal activity. Limit strenuous activity as to not disturb the arm or shoulder.

*The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment will vary by patient and condition. New York Spine Institute does not guarantee certain results.

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