There are three bones that make up your shoulder: the collar bone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula) and the upper arm bone (humerus), which are controlled by a number of associated muscles and ligaments. Shoulder pain can be caused by injury or impairment to any of these bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. There are also four major tendons, called the rotator cuff tendons. The shoulder joint (or glenohumeral joint) allows for a wide range of movement as it is a ball-and-socket, making it exceptionally mobile.
This page is not intended to replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you and is intended for informational purposes only.
A rotator cuff disorder may cause pain when you move your arm above your head or away from your body. It is associated with pain on the front and side of your shoulder or discomfort at night. You may also experience a snapping or clicking noise when you move your shoulder.
The causes of shoulder instability
People with suspected shoulder instability often describe feeling as though the ball of the shoulder has become disjointed. They also describe feelings of tingling, weakness or numbness in the shoulder.
Dislocated shoulders explained
With a dislocated shoulder, symptoms can include severe pain, a muscle spasm and limited movement. You may notice that the arm looks dislocated.
What is a frozen shoulder?
Two symptoms of a frozen shoulder include pain and persistent stiffness. Mild symptoms have been described as a shoulder ache causing pain when reaching for something. Severe symptoms might be where movement of the shoulder is significantly limited.
There are many causes of shoulder pain. It is often brought on by sudden, high-stress movements in sports, or repeat movements. Rowing is an example of a sport that can cause shoulder pain. Shoulder tendons may also tear, having worn down due to aging and poor circulation in the tendons.
There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing shoulder pain, including:
Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder is when a flexible tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint (called a capsule) becomes inflamed and restricts the range of movement in your shoulder.
Rotator cuffs can suffer from tears. Tendonitis and bursitis occur when the inflammation of tendons or the fluid-filled bursa sacs happens between the tendons and bones, due to repetitive overuse.
Although the shoulder joint is very moveable, shoulder instability can occur when the ball part of the shoulder joint does not move correctly in the socket. This can range from a slipping to a full dislocation.
The acromioclavicular joint is at the top of the shoulder and the ligaments can suffer from tearing or stretching.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that can affect the shoulder joints.
Broken or fractured bones can occur if an injury breaks or fractures the humerus or collarbone.
Usually, a MRI or CT scan will be used to diagnose the problem within the shoulder but it could require an arthroscopy procedure to treat the problem. Arthroscopy, also called keyhole surgery, is a procedure that has greatly reduced inpatient recovery times.
After making up to four small incisions around the affected joint, surgeons will insert a small arthroscope attached to a video camera into one of the cuts to visually examine the area. They are then able to place surgical instruments through the other to treat any problems inside the shoulder.
The operation usually takes 40 minutes, in most cases under a general anaesthetic.
Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. You can configure your browser to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set.
The adiLP cookie is used to help track visitors who have multiple tabs open in the same browser to prevent errors in tracking.
This cookie is set by software from ResponseTap. The software provides website owners with the ability to link website visitor behaviour to telephone calls made to the company as the result of a visit, in order to understand the effectiveness of the website in encouraging calls from customers.
The adiV cookie contains an identifier which is used by AdInsight to track a visitor over time. This allows AdInsight to show multiple visits made by a customer over time from the same browser.
The adiVi cookie contains an identifier which is used by AdInsight to help track a visitor’s path while they are on the website.
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Non-necessary".
The cookie is set by Facebook to show relevant advertisments to the users and measure and improve the advertisements. The cookie also tracks the behavior of the user across the web on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.
General-purpose platform session cookies that are used to maintain users' state across page requests.
This cookie is used to a profile based on user's interest and display personalized ads to the users.
This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users' unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.
This cookie is set by WordPress. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the users' browser supports cookies.
This cookie is set by Facebook to deliver advertisement when they are on Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising after visiting this website.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookie is installed by Google Universal Analytics to throttle the request rate to limit the collection of data on high traffic sites.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visited in an anonymous form.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.