What Causes Shoulder Joint Pain?


Quick Answer

Shoulder pain can be caused by inflammation, tendon tears, arthritis or fractures, reports the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. More rarely, shoulder pain can be caused by tumors, infections or nerve damage.

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Full Answer

Common causes of shoulder injury include repetitive motions, manual labor, sports and certain diseases, reports Healthline. Shoulder pains are more likely to increase as a patient ages, the soft tissues and cartilage degenerating with age. Some patients have reported successfully treating minor pains by applying an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times per day, resting the shoulder, reducing swelling through use of a compression bandage and taking anti-inflammatory painkillers.

However, if shoulder pain persists for longer than two to three weeks and does not seem responsive to home treatment, a doctor may recommend physical therapy, a sling or corticosteroids, according to Healthline. Surgery is needed in some cases. To prevent shoulder pain, the muscles and tendons should always be stretched and strengthened gradually.

The shoulder is made up of three bones, with the two joints cushioned by thick layers of cartilage, according to Healthline. The shoulder joint consists of the ball-shaped section of the humerus bone and the outer edge of the scapula. It boasts a wide range of motion, allowing the shoulder to move back and forth and the arm to move away and toward the body.

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