Shoulder pain is a common problem with a number of potential different causes, for example, osteoarthritis or tendon problems. Occasionally it can be referred from other parts of the body such as the neck.
Pains affecting the shoulder region can be more persistent than pains in some other areas, with up to half of people still having symptoms after 18 months. If the pain is particularly severe, it is important to get a correct diagnosis and start treatment at an early stage to speed recovery.
Despite the fact that there are several possible causes, shoulder pain will often resolve with sensible self- management advice
- Avoidance of cause – If you have been doing things repetitively, avoiding the activity may enable inflamed tissues to heal reducing pain.
- Painkillers – simple over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory gels may help (check with pharmacist that suitable in your case)
- Exercises – It is usually better to keep the shoulder moving to avoid muscle weakness which may aggravate the problem. Visit the Arthritis Research UK website for specific exercises for shoulder pain. Avoid doing this if there is significant pain.
- Ice – can be helpful for reducing acute pain. Take care to avoid an ice burn by always wrapping the ice in a damp cloth and avoid prolonged application.