Shoulder Injuries

Pitching. Serving. Lifting. Throwing. These crucial components of your game can result in minor and major shoulder injuries — especially when performed season after season. At Henry Ford, we see hundreds of athletes every year who’ve sustained shoulder injuries in activities like baseball, tennis, weightlifting or swimming. Regardless of your sport, the Henry Ford sports medicine team is comprised of experts with decades of experience who know the most common causes, diagnoses and treatments for shoulder pain.

Henry Ford Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic

For treatment of orthopedic injuries, you can get the care and the expertise of a Henry Ford orthopedic specialist at an Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic. There’s no need for an appointment or physician referral (unless required by insurance), and you will only be charged for an office visit.

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Common shoulder injuries

When to see a doctor

If shoulder pain is preventing you from carrying out daily tasks, consult a Henry Ford physician. Other reasons to make an appointment include loss of movement or flexibility, pain during repeated activities and pain that prevents you from getting quality sleep.

See a doctor immediately if your shoulder pain was caused by a particularly forceful impact, collision, something “popped out” or if it’s accompanied by:

  • Visible swelling
  • Redness or bruising
  • Pain that lasts more than a few days

Request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist

How we treat shoulder injuries

The shoulder is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body, and at Henry Ford we treat hundreds of athletes with shoulder pain every year.

When you visit us for shoulder treatment, a member of our sports medicine team will evaluate your injury, starting with a physical exam to determine the severity and source of your pain. Depending on what your doctor finds, an X-Ray or MRI might be the next step in your evaluation, followed by a diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan designed to restore your shoulder to full health and maximum performance.

Treatment options


R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) — When a shoulder injury first occurs, patients should rest the affected area to prevent further injury from occurring; ice it to reduce pain and compress it to reduce swelling.

Physical Therapy — Many shoulder injuries can be treated with physical therapy, either on its own or in conjunction with surgery. For recovering patients, Henry Ford’s rehabilitation team takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining exercise and strength training with manual therapy at more than 20 outpatient facilities in the tri-county area.

Anti-inflammatory medication — Over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve can often help reduce shoulder pain from minor sprains and aid in initial recovery.


Shoulder Arthroscopy — A shoulder arthroscopy is typically used to diagnose and treat shoulder injuries like a torn rotator cuff, a SLAP tear, or shoulder dislocation. During the procedure, a surgeon inserts a small camera (arthroscope) in your shoulder joint to examine or repair tissues in and around the shoulder joint.

Open Surgery — Large or complex tears in the shoulder may require open surgery, as well as major shoulder reconstructive work.

Ultrasound guided, minimally invasive procedure – Tenex is used to treat tendonitis and chronic pain in soft and hard tissue, using ultrasonic energy. It’s a precise option to remove only the damaged tendon tissue causing the pain. Performed using local anesthesia, a 3mm microincision and no stitches required.

Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available.

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Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

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Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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