You can have shoulder pain because of the following:
- bad posture
- frozen shoulder - stiffness, sometimes no movement at all
- the muscles and tendons around your shoulder aren’t working properly (rotator cuff disorder)
- shoulder is unstable and moves more than it should (hypermobility)
- the joint at the top of the shoulder isn’t working properly (acromioclavicular joint disorder)
- arthritis in the shoulder joints
- broken or fractured upper arm bone or collarbone
If you’ve injured your shoulder you should go and see your GP.
Treating shoulder pain at home
There are things you can do at home to reduce swelling and ease the pain:
- use ice packs (a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel will work)
- take anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen
- take painkillers, like paracetamol
Try to keep the shoulder moving but avoid doing anything that makes it hurt.
If there is no improvement after a couple of weeks, you might want to get further help.
You can get physiotherapy on the NHS to relieve pain and stiffness and help movement.
When to see your GP
See your GP if:
- you injured your shoulder, eg when falling
- the pain is severe
Your GP will recommend the best treatment for you. This can include:
- physiotherapy (see above)
- injections to relieve severe pain
Shoulder pain can be long term. Even after treatment, the pain may come back. However, doing the exercises your physiotherapist showed you should help.