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Home > Symptoms > Shoulder Pain Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Max Lab

Shoulder Pain Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Max Lab

Shoulder Pain Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Max Lab

Shoulder Pain

When it comes to moving your shoulder, the possibilities are endless. Any problem with your shoulder can make it difficult to use it, often leading to pain and discomfort.

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that can potentially include three different bones: the humerus (long arm bone), clavicle (collarbone), and scapula (also known as the shoulder blade).

These bones are surrounded by a layer of gel-like cartilage. The two main joints in the shoulder are the acromioclavicular joint, which connects the highest point on the scapula to the clavicle; and the sternoclavicular joint, which connects these two bones. The glenohumeral joint is made up of the top, ball-shaped part of the humerus bone and the outer edge of the scapula. These two structures collectively make up a joint known as the shoulder joint.

What is Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint that provides the most mobility of any joint in the body. It allows the arm to move up, down, and rotate in a circular motion. The shoulder also allows the arm to move forward and backward. The rotator cuff is made up of four tendons. Tendons are tissues that connect muscles to your bones. You may experience pain or difficulty lifting your arm over your head if the tendons or bones around the shoulder area are damaged or swollen.

If you have a job that requires strenuous physical activity, like manual labor, sports, or repetitive movements in the workplace, you're at risk for a shoulder injury. Certain diseases can bring about pain that travels to the shoulder. These include cervical spine (neck) diseases and liver, heart or gallbladder diseases.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Rotator cuff damage is one of the most frequent causes of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. A tear in any of these muscles or tendons can cause pain and weakness in the shoulder.

Impingement syndrome is another typical source of shoulder pain. This occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated and inflamed as they rub against the bones of the shoulder. Impingement syndrome is often caused by repetitive overhead motions, such as those often used in tennis or swimming.

Shoulder instability, arthritis, and bursitis are also common causes of shoulder pain. Shoulder instability occurs when the ligaments that hold the shoulder joint in place are stretched or torn. This can be caused by a traumatic injury, such as a fall, or by overuse. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that can damage any joint in the body, including the shoulder joint. Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the shoulder joint.

Symptoms of Shoulder Pain

When you are experiencing shoulder pain, there are a few different things that you may feel. The pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, shooting pain. You may also feel pain in your upper arm or neck. Your shoulder may feel stiff and be hard to move. You may also have swelling and redness in the area. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor so they can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend treatment.

  • Pain, Sharp or Severe: There are many different types of shoulder pain, and the symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, some common symptoms of shoulder pain include dull aches, sharp pains, and difficulty moving the arm.
  • Injury: One of the most common shoulder pain symptoms is a dull, aching pain. This pain may be constant or it may come and go. It may be worse when you move your shoulder or when you press on it. Another common symptom is sharp, shooting pain. This pain may be worse when you move your shoulder or when you breathe in.
  • Shoulder Stiffness: One of the most common shoulder pain symptoms is stiffness. This can make it difficult to move your arm and may cause your shoulder to feel painful when you try to raise it or rotate it. Shoulder stiffness is often caused by inflammation or a buildup of scar tissue around the shoulder joint. It can also be caused by an injury to the rotator cuff or other parts of the shoulder.
  • Swelling: One of the most common shoulder pain symptoms is swelling. This usually occurs as a result of inflammation or injury to the shoulder joint. Swelling can also be caused by fluid build-up in the tissues around the shoulder.

If you experience swelling in your shoulder, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Swelling can cause the tissues around the shoulder to become stretched and damaged. If left untreated, this can lead to permanent damage to the shoulder joint.

Treatments to cure

There are many different treatments for shoulder pain, and the best course of treatment depends on the specific cause of your pain. Generally, treatments fall into one of three categories:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can help to relieve shoulder pain. Commonly used medications include anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and painkillers.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, improving range of motion and relieving pain.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the shoulder joint or surrounding tissue.


If you experience shoulder pain that is severe or persists for more than a few days, it's important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. However, there are also several simple self-care measures you can take to ease your symptoms. For example, applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain. You can also try gentle exercises or stretches to help improve range of motion and relieve stiffness. If you're not sure what exercises are safe for your condition, be sure to ask your doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise routine.

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