Shoulder pain is a symptom rather than a condition in itself. Shoulder disorders are the most common causes of shoulder pain.Examples of shoulder pain might be:
How common are shoulder disorders?
About 3 in 10 adults are affected by these types of conditions at any one time. Frozen shoulder and rotator cuff disorders are most common in middle-aged and older people. Shoulder instability and acromioclavicular joint disorders tend to affect younger people, particularly men who play certain sports with either a repetitive shoulder action, for example: throwing, or contact sports such as rugby where the person is more likely to fall onto the shoulder.
Shoulder pain can be a long-term problem. Up to 50% of people still have symptoms after 18 months.
Treatment options are available include:
- painkillers – such a paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medication
- manual therapy (osteopathy, and physiotherapy) – where physical methods, such as massage and manipulation, are used to promote healing
- injections of corticosteroids – corticosteroids are a type of medication that is designed to reduce inflammation
- surgery (in some cases)
- avoidance of activities that makes it worse
- use of ice if very inflamed, used for acute or recent injury (within the last 48 hours),
- or heat packs should be used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues, and to stimulate blood flow to the area. Use heat treatments for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries, before participating in activities.
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