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Shoulder Pain and Problems

Shoulder with its wide and varied range of motion is prone to injuries of many kinds resulting in what is commonly called shoulder pain.

Our shoulder is a kind of ball and socket joint made up of three kinds of bones, namely, clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (long arm bone).

This ball and socket joint are versatile in that it allows the shoulder to move freely in any direction as we wish.

Additionally, it is supported and aided in its motion by a series of tendons, ligaments and rotator cuff.

Figure: Shoulder and its joints and bones

What causes shoulder pain?

Among the myriad of causes of shoulder pain, stress, and injury that leads to rotator cuff tendinitis is the most prevalent one.

This happens when the rotator cuff is caught between two bones acromion and humeral head resulting in swollen tendons. This condition is technically termed as impingement syndrome.

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Nevertheless, other conditions such as arthritis, torn cartilage, torn rotator cuff, swollen bursa sacs, pinched nerves, broken shoulder or arm bones, dislocated shoulders, and overuse injuries can all cause shoulder pain and problems.


Diagnosis starts with a physical examination by a doctor to access the range of motion and joint stability of the shoulder of the patient.

Primarily the swelling and tenderness of the shoulder are accessed that can be aided by the verbal investigation on the medical history as reported bgy the patient. 

When to see a doctor?

The patient is advised to seek immediate medical help if the shoulder pain is chronic (lasting for more than a few weeks) and accompanied by fever.

Other instances to seek a doctor include problem and pain moving shoulders, chronic tenderness around the joints.

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What are the treatment options for shoulder pain?

Treatment option for shoulder pain depends on the cause, nature, and severity of the pain.

Minor shoulder pain can be treated at home with self-help remedies such as the use of ice packs or heat treatments and rest.

While chronic shoulder pain may be treated with medications (pain-killers), physiotherapy or surgery depending upon the nature of the problem as accessed by your doctor or Orthopedic Specialist.


Ann Pietrangelo (26 April 2019), Health line newsletter, why does my shoulder hurt?

John Hopkins University (2020), Shoulder Pain and Problems, Department of Medicine and Health, Newsletter

By Clinic One Team
19 | 07 | 2020

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