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Shoulder Pain

What Is Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is a general term that refers to any pain felt at the shoulder. Pain can be from the joint, cartilage, muscles, tendons or ligaments. It can even be referred pain caused by gallbladder disease, heart disease, or an arm or neck injury.

Pain in shoulder graphic

Symptoms of shoulder pain can vary among individuals, depending on the source and severity of injury.

Causes of shoulder pain can vary and may include:

These are just a few common sources of shoulder pain. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it’s important to see an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist who can accurately diagnosis your pain and create a treatment plan that works for you.

Symptoms

Symptoms of shoulder pain can vary widely among individuals, depending on the source and severity of the injury. Symptoms may include:

  • Limited range of movement – Pain may make it difficult to move the arm or shoulder.

  • Pain – Pain is most commonly felt at the shoulder joint, but it may also be experienced in the arm or back.

  • Increased pain during activity – Pain may increase during activities that stress the shoulder, such as sports, work or daily chores around the house.

  • Weakness – There is a noticeable change in overhead strength or ability to use affected arm.

Treatment Options

There are many effective treatments available to help relieve your shoulder pain and symptoms. Your provider will do a complete examination, including diagnostic tests, to understand the source and severity of your pain.

Shoulder pain can often be treated with rest, ice and activity modification. Over-the-counter medication can also help relieve swelling and pain as your injury heals.

Your provider may also discuss treatment that includes:

  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen and support the shoulder joint and its muscles and restore range of motion.

  • Surgery – If a conservative approach doesn’t help manage your symptoms, your provider may recommend surgery to repair damaged ligaments. The surgeons at Temple Health offer the latest advances in procedures, including minimally invasive approaches. Your surgeon will discuss which surgery is right for you, helping you find treatment that helps you most.

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If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of shoulder pain, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat shoulder pain.

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