Pain with Internal Rotation of Shoulder: Understanding and Solutions

Nov 20, 2023


Shoulder pain with internal rotation can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily activities and quality of life. Whether you are an athlete, a professional, or someone who enjoys an active lifestyle, understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this condition is essential for finding relief and restoring proper shoulder function.

What is Pain with Internal Rotation of Shoulder?

Pain with internal rotation of the shoulder refers to discomfort or pain experienced when rotating the arm inward towards the body. This motion involves the movement of the humerus bone within the socket, commonly known as the glenohumeral joint. Several conditions can contribute to this type of shoulder pain, including but not limited to:

  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Labral tears
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Arthritis

Causes of Pain with Internal Rotation of Shoulder

Understanding the underlying causes of pain with internal rotation of the shoulder is crucial in developing an effective treatment plan. Here are some common causes:

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, providing stability and facilitating movement. Injuries to the rotator cuff, such as tears or strains, can lead to pain during internal rotation. These injuries can occur due to repetitive overhead motions, trauma, or degenerative changes.

Labral Tears

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the rim of the shoulder socket, helping to stabilize the joint. Tears in the labrum can result from acute injuries or repetitive overhead activities, causing pain and discomfort during internal rotation of the shoulder.

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendons become compressed or irritated, usually due to excessive overhead motions. This compression can lead to pain and restricted movement, particularly during internal rotation.

Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendonitis refers to inflammation or irritation of the biceps tendon, which attaches the biceps muscle to the bones in the shoulder joint. This condition can cause pain during internal rotation, especially when combined with other shoulder issues.


Shoulder arthritis, whether it is osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can also contribute to discomfort and pain during the internal rotation of the shoulder. The degenerative changes in the joint can lead to inflammation, stiffness, and limited range of motion.

Symptoms of Pain with Internal Rotation of Shoulder

Pain with internal rotation of the shoulder can present itself in various ways, depending on the specific condition causing the discomfort. Common symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Pain or soreness during internal rotation
  • Weakness or instability of the shoulder
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Shoulder clicking or popping
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Loss of strength and function

Treatment Options for Pain with Internal Rotation of Shoulder

Effective treatment for pain with internal rotation of the shoulder requires a thorough evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified healthcare professional. Depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition, various treatment options may be recommended. These can include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the management of shoulder pain with internal rotation. Through targeted exercises and manual therapy techniques, physical therapists can help improve shoulder strength, mobility, and stability. They may also use modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation to aid in the healing process.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, including shoulder pain. Chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue mobilization, and therapeutic exercises are commonly used to alleviate pain, restore joint function, and enhance overall shoulder health.


In some cases, over-the-counter or prescription medications may be recommended to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, or corticosteroid injections can provide temporary relief while addressing the underlying condition.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

For more severe cases or when conservative treatments fail, minimally invasive procedures like cortisone injections or arthroscopic surgery may be necessary. These interventions target specific sources of pain or structural abnormalities within the shoulder joint.

Lifestyle Modifications

Sometimes, simple lifestyle modifications can make a significant difference in managing shoulder pain. Rest, ice or heat therapy, proper ergonomics, and avoiding repetitive or strenuous activities can help reduce symptoms and prevent further aggravation of the condition.


Pain with internal rotation of the shoulder can significantly impact your daily life and overall functionality. Seeking professional help from healthcare providers specializing in Health & Medical, Chiropractors, and Physical Therapy, such as those at IAOM-US, can make a tremendous difference in finding relief and restoring optimal shoulder health. Whether through physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications, or minimally invasive procedures, comprehensive treatment and a personalized approach can help you regain a pain-free, functional shoulder once again.

Remember, understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking appropriate treatment early on can lead to better outcomes and faster recovery. Take control of your shoulder health and reach out to knowledgeable professionals who can provide the care you need.