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Shoulder Pain Specialist

David N Westerdahl, MD -  - Sports Medicine Physician

Sports Health Northwest, Inc

David N Westerdahl, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Non-Operative Orthopaedic Specialist located in Portland, OR

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body, allowing you to throw a football and swing a tennis racket. Unfortunately, the structure and function of your shoulder also make it vulnerable to conditions that cause pain, especially in athletes and active people who use their shoulders for their sport. David Westerdahl, MD, at Sports Health Northwest, Inc, specializes in diagnosing and treating shoulder pain. Schedule an appointment by calling the office located at The Graham Clinic in Portland, Oregon, or book a consultation online today.

Shoulder Pain Q & A

What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain refers to any discomfort you feel in your shoulder, whether at rest or in motion. The pain may range from a dull aching sensation to severe sharp pain. 

In some cases, shoulder pain may resolve on its own. However, when your shoulder fails to improve within a few days of at-home care, you should schedule an evaluation at Sports Health Northwest, Inc. 

What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain often develops from injuries, overuse, or an underlying medical condition. Common causes of shoulder pain include:


Impingement is a type of shoulder pain that occurs when the top of your shoulder blade puts pressure on the soft tissue when you lift your arm. 


Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect your muscles to bone. 

Calcific tendonitis

A buildup of hard calcium in the tendon of the shoulder leads to calcific tendonitis, causing severe pain and pressure. 

Shoulder instability

An injury to your shoulder that stretches or tears the ligaments and capsule may lead to shoulder instability, making it feel like your shoulder is coming out of the socket. 

Rotator cuff tear

A rotator cuff tear is a tear in one or more tendons that connect your arm muscle to your shoulder blade. This type of shoulder injury causes severe pain. 

Labral tear

The labrum is a type of cartilage found in the socket joint of your shoulder. A labral tear may occur from a bracing injury or overuse.


A fracture in any of the three bones that make up your shoulder joint — humerus, clavicle, and shoulder blade — may cause shoulder pain.

Frozen shoulder

A frozen shoulder is a stiff, painful shoulder common in people with diabetes. 


Arthritis refers to joint pain, inflammation, and tenderness in the shoulder. 

How is shoulder pain treated?

Dr. Westerdahl takes a patient-centered approach to care and develops individualized treatment plans for shoulder pain based on the underlying cause, the severity of symptoms, the usual level of activity, and overall health. 

Shoulder pain treatment may include:

  • Activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Ultrasound-guided calcific tendonitis lavage — washing out calcium deposits with fluid
  • Percutaneous tenotomy or fasciotomy — minimally invasive removal of damaged tissue
  • Cooled radiofrequency ablation (CRFA) for osteoarthritis
  • Bone marrow aspirate (BMA) — a type of regenerative medicine 

Dr. Westerdahl works closely with you, providing the treatment that gives you the best results in the shortest amount of time.

To manage your shoulder pain, call Sports Health Northwest, Inc, or schedule an appointment online today.