Shoulder Pain

Causes of Shoulder Pain- Treatment and Care

The versatility and motion of the shoulder joint make it easy to move freely. When there is a problem with the shoulder, it becomes very difficult to move freely and results in excessive pain and discomfort. As a ball and socket joint, it consists of three main bones. They are the humerus, clavicle, and scapula.

The cartilage layer cushions these bones, but there are higher chances of developing shoulder problems as people age, especially in people above 60 years. This happens because the soft tissue surrounding the shoulder tends to deteriorate as people age. Shoulder pain treatment in most cases happens at home. However, there may be a need for physical therapy, medications, or surgical operations if the pain is consistent and excruciating.

Causes of shoulder pain

Shoulder pain can occur as a result of several factors and conditions. However, one of the most popular causes of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendinitis which refers to swollen tendons. Impingement syndrome is also another prevalent cause of shoulder pain. This usually happens whenever the rotator cuff is caught between the acromion and humeral head.

When other body parts like the biceps or neck are injured, it may result in pain. This form of pain is known as Referred Pain. People do not usually feel them when there is a movement of their shoulder. Other causes of shoulder pain may include torn cartilage, swollen tendons, injury, and other factors. In some cases, a heart attack may be responsible for shoulder pain.

Seeking medical help

Shoulder pain causes discomfort, and immediate attention is required once you start experiencing fever, difficulty in shoulder movement, lasting bruising, and persistent pain for weeks. Tenderness and heat in joint areas also require medical attention.

You may need more immediate medical help if you have sudden shoulder pain due to injury. The pain of this type can sometimes be related to heart attack signs. Heart attack shows the following signs

  • Dizziness
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Jaw or neck pain

Options for treating shoulder pain

Treatment options for shoulder pain depend on how severe the pain is. The cause of the pain will also affect the treatment. Treating certain shoulder pain includes physical or occupational therapy. Also, treatment can be carried out using a sling or shoulder immobiliser. In some rare cases, surgical operations may be required.

At times, doctors may need to prescribe medication such as corticosteroids or NSAIDs. Taking corticosteroids comes in two options. They are powerful inflammatory drugs that you can take by mouth. Alternatively, doctors may inject it into your shoulder. For people who have had surgical operations before, it is important to follow aftercare instructions carefully.

A few steps can be used for treating shoulder pain at home. A 15 to 20 minutes icing of the shoulder, 3 to 4 times daily, can help reduce the shoulder.

Preventing shoulder pain

A few lifestyles can help prevent shoulder pain. Engaging in simple shoulder exercise can help stretch and strengthen the shoulder’s muscles and rotator cuff tendons. If you do not know how to go about this, you may need to see a physical or occupational therapist.

If you have had issues with your shoulders in the past, using ice for fifteen minutes after exercising your shoulder will help prevent injuries that may likely happen later. You may also carry out a simple daily range-of-motion exercise after you have had bursitis or tendinitis. These simple daily exercises can help in keeping the shoulder from freezing. When you do this, movement of the shoulder will not be difficult, and pain will also reduce drastically.


* Contact Reach Physiotherapy for a list of references used for this blog content.