Shoulder Pain Specialist

Michael V Elman, M.D., P.C.

Orthopaedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Braintree, MA & Foxboro, MA

Shoulder pain can start with accidents or develop gradually with wear-and-tear, but in either case, it’s difficult to live with. If shoulder pain makes your days and nights miserable, esteemed orthopedic specialist Michael V. Elman M.D., P.C., is here to help. Dr. Elman offers comprehensive solutions, including non-surgical and surgical care, at his conveniently located Braintree, Massachusetts, office, so click the scheduler or call to book your appointment now.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes shoulder pain?

There are many possible causes of shoulder pain, but some common culprits are:


The most common type of shoulder arthritis, osteoarthritis, causes your shoulder joint to wear down as you age. Less commonly, rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe inflammation and damage in your shoulder joints.

Rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff includes the muscles and tendons that keep your shoulder in its socket. Tears or degeneration in the rotator cuff can be quite painful and restrictive.

Labral tear

A labral tear occurs in the labrum, a cartilage cuff that helps stabilize your shoulder joint. Labral tears can be painful and can be associated with shoulder instability. 

Biceps problems

The biceps muscle connects to the shoulder through the long head of the biceps tendon, so problems in this tendon can trigger serious shoulder pain. One of the most common biceps problems affecting the shoulder is biceps tendinitis, in which the tendon grows inflamed. Over time, untreated biceps tendinitis could lead to a tendon tear or even deformity if untreated.

Shoulder pain can be both uncomfortable and physically limiting. It may keep you from doing the day-to-day tasks you once took for granted, like dressing yourself or brushing your hair. To live a normal life without pain, you need orthopedic treatment.

How do you determine the cause of shoulder pain?

Dr. Elman reviews your symptoms and examines your shoulder carefully. He performs range-of-motion tests and looks for signs of damage to determine which imaging tests you need.

Typically, an ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or X-ray confirms Dr. Elman’s diagnosis and helps him pinpoint the damaged area. Then, Dr. Elman can explain your treatment options so you can end the pain.

How do you treat shoulder pain?

Dr. Elman offers both non-operative care and surgery based on your needs. For some cases of shoulder pain, particularly those in which you don’t have serious tissue damage, Dr. Elman may recommend a corticosteroid injection. 

If you have a tissue tear or severe shoulder joint degeneration, Dr. Elman may recommend surgery. He regularly performs advanced arthroscopic surgery using a lighted scope with a tiny camera. 

Arthroscopic surgery requires only small incisions and requires less recovery time than open surgery. But, if you have a large tear or multiple shoulder issues, Dr. Elman may recommend open surgery. This traditional surgical method involves a larger incision. 

Dr. Elman can perform total shoulder joint replacements or reverse total shoulder joint replacements, based on your needs.

Physical therapy may be important for regaining shoulder function, whether you have surgery or nonoperative care. 

Suffering from shoulder pain? Call Michael V. Elman M.D. or request an appointment online.