According to the National Institutes of Health website MedlinePlus, corticosteroids and NSAIDs, both anti-inflammatory medicines, can relieve shoulder pain. While corticosteroids include steroids, NSAIDs are nonsteroidal.
Corticosteroids, according to the Mayo Clinic, mimic cortisol, the body’s naturally-produced adrenal gland hormone. Prescribed dosages of the medicine, which exceed the body’s normal hormone levels, may suppress inflammation. The academic medical center Cleveland Clinic defines NSAIDs as medicine that blocks certain inflammation-causing chemicals produced by the body. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen. In addition to prescription and over-the-counter medicines, shoulder pain is often relieved by resting and icing the area of pain.