SHOULDER PAIN

Shoulder pain is a common source of pain and can be caused by numerous conditions:

  • Rotator cuff problem – the Rotator Cuff muscles are muscles control shoulder movements and may cause pain in the shoulder or upper arm, particularly when lifting the arm, lying on it in bed or using the muscles during activities such as washing and getting dressed. 
  • Acromioclavicular joint pain – this bony joint at the top of the shoulder is the junction between the collar bone and the shoulder blade. This joint is commonly injured during falls, but more gradual onset of pain can be experienced from wear and tear of the joint (osteoarthritis) 
  • Frozen shoulder – this very painful conditions is also associated with increased stiffness and restriction of all shoulder movements and activities. It is commonly extremely painful at night causing a struggle to sleep and inability to lift your arms to wash your hair or when dressing. 
  • Referred shoulder painShoulder problems most commonly causes pain in the upper arm, however pain that may present in the shoulder or upper arm may be coming from another source such as the neck. 
  • OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis of the “ball and socket joint” of the shoulder is much less common than arthritis of the knee and hip but can occur. It may cause pain and stiffness over a period of months or years, or symptoms may be triggered after a minor fall. 
  • Shoulder instability – this is often associated with an acute injury such as a dislocation or with laxity and weakness in the shoulder causing excessive movement of the shoulder joint.

Click on the links to the left to find out more about each condition and how to manage the symptoms and pain 

 

Dealing with Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can usually be easily managed by you, at home. Simply reducing or stopping the activity that has caused the pain can make an enormous difference.

Painkillers such as paracetemol can also be used to help manage the symptoms, but you should always consult your GP or pharmacist before taking.

Click on the relevant condition using the links on the left, to find out more about dealing with shoulder pain.

 

Avoiding Shoulder Pain

Avoiding rotator cuff problems 

  • Avoid excessive unaccustomed activity with the hands above shoulder height e.g. doing tasks like painting the ceiling, hanging curtains and trimming the hedge in short periods of time 
  • If you exercise, ensure you balance your training programme to incorporate strength work for all muscle groups 
  • Take breaks from repetitive shoulder movements and heavy lifting 

 

Avoiding acromioclavicular joint pain 

  • Avoid excessive overhead activities 

 

Avoiding referred shoulder pain 

  • Poor posture is a common cause of referred pain in your shoulder and often can be managed by merely improving your posture and keeping your neck moving 

 

Avoiding osteoarthritis 

  • Wear and tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) occurs with age. Keeping yourself fit and active, with correct shoulder and neck posture as well as keeping your shoulders strong and flexible can help to alleviate and manage your shoulder symptoms.