Man holding his freind's rope as the friend climbs up a rock face. The man is wearing Bauerfeind's OmoTrain Shoulder Brace to manage shoulder pain

Do you have shoulder pain with no idea as to what could be causing it? As the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, plenty of things can cause strange aches and pains. From impingement to arthritis, here are 5 common causes of shoulder pain with no injury and what you can do to address them. 

Rotator cuff tendonitis 

What is it

Rotator cuff tendonitis is a condition where the tendons in your rotator cuff get irritated and inflamed. It develops gradually through overuse and is especially common among athletes and workers who make many overhead motions (think: swimming freestyle, overhead throws, painting walls, stocking high shelves). You may get stiffness, redness, swelling, and pain at the front and side of the shoulder. You may also find it hard to it is challenging to move your shoulder (especially upwards and backward) without pain. 

How to treat it

Man pruning a tree while wearing Bauerfeind's OmoTrain Shoulder brace to manage shoulder tendonitis pain

OmoTrain S


You can relieve shoulder tendonitis symptoms through the following: 

  • Rest to help your overused, agitated tendons recover
  • Applying an ice pack to the affected area for 15 minutes a few times a day to reduce swelling
  • Gentle exercises to strengthen your shoulder muscles and maintain your range of motion. While your specific exercise set will depend on your physio's recommendations, you can generally expect to do Internal Rotations, External Rotations, and the Doorway Stretch. You can see how to do these exercises and more in our Swimmer’s Shoulder article.
  • And lastly, brace. Our Omotrain S incorporates medical-grade compression knit and a gel pad to relieve pain and swelling. The knit will also communicate directly with your muscles to help you activate them and better protect your healing tendons. It will also help you through the exercises your physio recommends.

Shoulder bursitis 

What is it

The bursae are little sacks of synovial fluid. They’re responsible for stopping your tendon from rubbing against bones. But, their role opens them up to a lot of friction - and overuse can make them larger, thicker, and lumpier. With shoulder bursitis, you can expect swelling and pain at the top or outside of your shoulder. Generally, the pain will worsen when you: 

  • Lay on that side
  • Lift your arms to the sides
  • Windmilling or circling your arms
  • Pushing or pulling a door
  • Pushing against the top of your shoulder

How to treat it 

Although it affects a different structure in the shoulder, bursitis is still an overuse injury and one that usually develops alongside tendonitis. So, treatment remains very similar.  

  • Rest your arm and shoulder to take pressure off your bursae
  • Ice the area
  • Use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDS)
  • Brace with the OmoTrain S to support your healing bursae and relieve pain and swelling.
  • Do gentle exercises like Shrugs, Wall Push-Ups, and Internal and External Rotations. You can see how to do these and other shoulder bursitis exercises here.

Shoulder Arthritis 

There are a couple of types of shoulder arthritis that develop without injury. 

  • Osteoarthritis. As we age, the cartilage in the shoulder joint can start to degenerate, resulting in increased bone-on-bone contact.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis. Your immune system can malfunction and turn against healthy tissue like cartilage.

While they stem from different causes, symptoms remain similar. You may experience pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joint. You’ll usually get more discomfort after a long rest or moving - but the severity of the symptoms can vary drastically depending on how much your cartilage has worn away. 

There are other forms of arthritis, like avascular necrosis and posttraumatic osteoarthritis. While these generally develop after a shoulder injury, you may not feel any pain after your initial injury heals until years down the line. 


How to treat it

Man climbing a rock face while wearing Bauerfeind's OmoTrain shoulder brace to relieve pain



Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in the shoulder can be managed through:

  • Ice to relieve swelling 
  • Heat to ease muscle stiffness 
  • Bracing to support the joint and relieve pain. The Omotrain S is a good fit for earlier stages. But if the condition has progressed, the OmoTrain may be a better fit. It has a support strap system that offers additional protection for your joint.
  • Gentle exercise
  • And in more severe cases, cortisone shots. 
  • Increase your vitamin D and K intake, as these foods increase muscle strength and cartilage health. 

Frozen shoulder 

What is is 

Also known as Adhesive Capsulitis, this condition usually follows an injury but can also develop due to Parkinson's' disease or diabetes. It involves thickening and stiffening of the rotator cuff tendons. As a result, your shoulder feels painful. And as the condition’s name suggests, your shoulder won’t feel ‘stiff’ so much as ‘stuck.’ Moving it can be extremely painful. But ironically, not moving your shoulder enough can worsen the condition.

How to treat it

Fortunately, conservative treatment is effective in 90% of cases. They’ll generally involve a combination of NSAIDS like Advil to relieve pain and physiotherapy to manipulate the joint and loosen tight tissues. You can also try a shoulder brace like the OmoTrain, as the circulation boost and muscle activation provided by the compression knit can reduce stiffness, while the gel pad can reduce pain as you move.

Pinched nerve

What is it

Last but not least, your shoulder pain can result from a pinched nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, cubital tunnel syndrome in the elbow, and cervical impingement in the neck can cause nerves running through the shoulder to go haywire and radiate pain into that joint.  

Impingement can sometimes happen due to a clear injury, like whiplash after a car accident. But more often than not, it results from overuse, sleeping wrong, or gradual anatomical changes (like cervical disk degeneration). You’ll usually feel pain, tingling, and sometimes numbness or weakness. These symptoms may run along the entire length of your arm or be localised to a couple of areas.

How to treat it

Woman holding an ice or a heat pack to her neck. Pinched neck nerves are a potential cause of shoulder pain with no injuy

Again, combining ice, heat, gentle movement, and bracing is an excellent way to relieve symptoms. If your nerve is pinched due to overuse, we’d also recommend letting the area rest as much as possible for a few days. Additionally, think ergonomically. Switching to a foam pillow, using an ergonomic mousepad, and not leaning on your elbows so much can help stop your symptoms from worsening. 

With bracing, try: 

  • CerviLoc for the neck. It will take pressure off your cervical vertebrae, prevent movement that could agitate the joint, and relieve tense muscles. 
  • ManuTrain or ManuLoc for the wrist. The ManuTrain’s compression fabric, support strap, and gel pad make it a good fit for milder carpal tunnel. It will support the wrist and alleviate pain while letting you move your hand pretty much as normal. The ManuLoc, meanwhile, is best for more severe or chronic cases of the condition. It will lock your wrist in place to let damaged tissues heal and take pressure off the median nerve compartment. 
  • EpiTrain for the elbow. It has a similar structure to the ManuTrain. The compression knit activates your forearm muscles to take pressure off the joint while the epicondyle pads massage away the pain. You can also add the EpiTrain Strap for extra support. 

To sum up

Shoulder pain with no injury can be a bit of a mystery. It can develop due to various causes, from arthritis to bursitis to tendonitis. And sometimes, the issue may not be in the shoulder at all. However, in most cases, you can manage symptoms through conservative treatment methods like a quality brace and physiotherapy. Just make sure to start using these as early as possible and see a specialist if you feel things are getting worse.

If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.

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