Shoulder Joint Pain

Shoulder pain is caused by:

  • Injuries or inflammation of muscles, ligaments and tendons that supports shoulder joint. 
  • Shoulder joint arthritis or injuries.


Shoulder pain caused by neck injuries are as follows

  • Radicular pain with or without tingling and numbness passing down the arm to hand and fingers
  • Radicular pain is caused by pinched nerve in neck 
  • Facet joint hypertrophy of neck.


Shoulder consists of two main joint

  • Acromioclavicular joint and 
  • Glenohumeral joint.


The acromioclavicular joint or AC joint is a junction formed by

  • Acromion and 
  • Clavicle or collarbone.


Coracoid process is a small hook like structure of the upper part of the scapula (shoulder blade). 

The glenohumeral joint is a multi axial synovial ball and socket joint, which involves glenoid fossa of the scapula and the head of the humerus (upper arm bone). 

Five major muscles facilitate shoulder joint movement.

The subscapularis muscle and biceps muscles are situated over front of the shoulder joint and originates from the scapula.

The supraspinatus muscle is relatively small muscle that runs from the supraspinatous fossa to the top of the humerus head.

The infraspinatus and teres minor muscles are located at back of the shoulder blade.

These major muscles combine at shoulder to form a thick cuff, which is important in stabilizing the shoulder as well as elevating and rotating the arm. The bursa located below the acromion and above the supraspinatus tendon is squeezed during elevation of the arm. 

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain is bursitis or impingement of the bursa. Usually, bursitis is the result of irritation and inflammation caused by a shoulder injury or overuse of the shoulder.

Biceps Tendonitis or Inflammation of bicep tendon is an inflammatory process of the long head of the biceps tendon. Bicep tendinitis usually develops with rotator cuff injury or inflammation. It is a common cause of shoulder pain.

Rotator Cuff Tear: 
Tear of the rotator cuff is also common cause of shoulder pain. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus muscle and tendon. Tear could be either partial or complete. Complete tear of the tendon usually requires surgery.

Labral Lesions: 
Glenoid labrum is a fibrocartilaginous rim around the margin of the glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade. It helps to keep the head of the humerus in place within the shoulder joint. Tearing of the fibrocartilaginous labrum can occur from either acute trauma or repetitive shoulder motion.

The most common causes of the labrum injuries are SLAP or tear of superior Labrum spread from anterior to posterior surface. A SLAP lesion is a tear that occurs where the tendon of the biceps muscle meets the labrum. 

Bankart lesion occurs when there is dislocation of the shoulder. It often contributes to shoulder instability.


Treatment for Shoulder Pain: Treatment is either conservative or surgery. Shoulder Pain Treatment depends on severity of injury and disease of shoulder joint. Please consult your doctor or physician if you are not sure of your shoulder problem and its treatment.

  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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