Want To Beat Shoulder Pain?

Written By: Chloe Wilson BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed By: SPE Medical Review Board

Shoulder Pain Explained tells you everything you need to know about shoulder and upper arm pain

Shoulder pain is a common problem affecting around thirty percent of people. 

We expect a lot from our arms. Not only does the shoulder joint move through a much greater range than any other joint in the body, in multiple directions, we also expect our arms to be strong enough and stable enough to lift heavy items, throw things and at times support our weight.

Here you will find seven sections covering all the different aspects of shoulder pain, elbow pain and wrist pain, full of loads of great information to help you to understand what is going on in your arm, why you have pain and what the best treatment options are and what you can do about to take back control.

1. Shoulder Pain Diagnosis

In the shoulder pain diagnosis section we help you work out what is causing your shoulder problem. We break it down into:

Shoulder Pain Explained: Shoulder Pain Diagnosis
  • Where Is Your Pain: e.g. upper arm, shoulder blades
  • What Are Your Symptoms: e.g. sharp pain, burning pain, night pain
  • Diagnosis Charts: A range of visual diagrams to help you work out what's wrong

You can find out loads more and get help working out what is wrong with your shoulder in the Shoulder Pain Diagnosis section.

2. Shoulder Injuries & Conditions

Shoulder Pain Explained: Common Shoulder Injuries & Conditions

In the common shoulder problems section you can find out all about common shoulder problems and their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and recovery:

  • Shoulder Injuries: e.g. rotator cuff tear, fractures & labrum tears
  • Shoulder Conditions: e.g. frozen shoulder, tendonitis, bursitis

You can find out all about the common conditions and injuries that affect the shoulder joint, what causes them and the best ways to treat them in the Common Shoulder Pain Causes section.

3. Elbow Pain

There are a number of different causes of elbow pain but the most common are:

Elbow Pain: Common Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment options

You can find out all about these common causes of elbow pain and how to work out what is wrong in the elbow pain diagnosis section.

4. Wrist Pain

There are lots of possible causes of wrist pain but two of the most common are:

5. Shoulder & Arm Exercises

In the shoulder pain exercises section you will find a while range of exercise programs to choose from including:

Shoulder pain diagnosis
  • Shoulder Mobility Exercises: increase shoulder range
  • Rotator Cuff Exercises: strengthen and stretch the rotator cuff
  • Shoulder Rehab Exercises: strengthen the shoulder muscles
  • Scapular Stabilization Exercises: improve strength and control at the shoulder blade
  • Exercises For Specific Conditions: e.g rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulders
  • Arm Stretches: stretch the shoulder, upper arm and chest muscles
  • Upper Back Stretches: for pain and stiffness

Find the right programme for you, whatever stage you are at with your rehab in the Exercises For Shoulder Pain section.

6. Shoulder Pain Treatment

The best treatment for shoulder and elbow pain will depend on what the underlying problem is.

Shoulder Pain Explained: Shoulder pain treatment and surgery

You can find out loads of great information on different shoulder pain treatments and how they work in the following sections:

7. Anatomy Of The Arm

Shoulder anatomy consists of three bones, four joints, cartilage, joint capsules and numerous muscles, ligaments, tendons and bursa.

Each of these work together to give the most mobile joint in the whole body. 

In the Anatomy Of The Shoulder section you can find out all about the different structures in and around the shoulder, how they work and what can go wrong.

Take Back Control

People often say that they don't get the the full story from their doctor about their shoulder pain which leaves them confused and anxious. Long words are used without any explanation or scary sounding terms like crumbling bones or ligament ruptures. And so often we are told to either go away and rest, or to just get on with life and the pain should soon settle down. We don't agree.

At Wilson Health, we think it is vital for people to understand exactly what the problem is, what caused it, what is going on and what the best treatment options are out there. So we created shoulder-pain-explained.com. Here we share explanations and advice that we’ve refined over the years from countless conversations with people just like you. 

Where Should I Start?

We are constantly using our arms and shoulder pain can quickly start to limit what we can do. It may be related to posture, weakness, tightness, instability, wear and tear or an injury. It may not even be caused by a problem in the shoulder itself, but from a problem in the neck. 

I’ve been helping people beat shoulder pain for over ten years. Many cases will settle down with simple treatment that you can do at home but some will require specialist intervention. But where do you start?

1. Shoulder Pain Diagnosis

The first step to overcoming shoulder pain is working out what is wrong. In the shoulder pain diagnosis section, we will help you work out what is causing your pain by thinking about where the pain is and what sort of symptoms you have.

Pain at the front of the shoulder will be caused by something different to pain in the shoulder blades. And a sharp pain when you reach up above your head indicates a different problem to burning pain in your shoulder at night. 

Accurate shoulder pain diagnosis is key to overcoming shoulder and arm problems. LEARN MORE >

2. Shoulder Injuries & Conditions

There are lots of different things that can go wrong in and around the shoulder. Your pain may have started suddenly after an injury or may have come on gradually over time. There may be a tear in one of the muscles, inflammation in a tendon or bursa, or a problem in the bones themselves.

You can find out all about the most common shoulder pain causes such as rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder and tendonitis, including the best treatment options for each, in the common shoulder problems section.

3. Elbow Problems

Elbow pain is becoming an increasingly common problem in the upper arm, often due to overuse.

Pain may occur anywhere in the elbow and may even extend down the forearm and into the hand. There are a number of different causes of elbow pain but the most common are:

  • Lateral Epicondylitis: aka Tennis Elbow. Causes outer elbow pain that may extend down the back of the forearm to the wrist
  • Medial Epicondylitis: aka Golfers Elbow. Causes inner elbow pain that may extend down the front of the forearm to the wrist
  • Olecranon Bursitis: aka Elbow Bursitis. Causes pain and swelling at the back of the elbow

You can find out all about the common causes of elbow pain and how to work out which one you have in the elbow pain diagnosis section.

4. Shoulder & Arm Exercises

Exercises are one of the best treatments for most causes of shoulder pain. They help to improve the mobility, flexibility, strength and control of the shoulder muscles.  

In the shoulder pain exercises section you will find a whole range of exercises for different shoulder problems. Each come with easy to follow instructions and pictures as well as top tips on how to get the best results, how to progress appropriately and what exercises are right for you. LEARN MORE >

5. Shoulder Surgery

Most cases of shoulder pain can be treated with a combination of rest, exercises, injections and physical therapy, but in some cases, surgery is required. 

In the shoulder surgery section, we look at the indications for the different types of surgery, what happens during the operation, the rehab process and loads of top tips on how to make the best recovery.

6. Shoulder Anatomy

Understanding the anatomy of the shoulder really helps if you have shoulder pain. Knowing how the different structures fit together and work helps you to understand what went wrong in the first place and how to fix it.

In the anatomy of the shoulder section you can find out all about the different aspects of shoulder anatomy including the different muscle groups, bones, cartilage, ligaments and bursa.

What Else Can Help?

This site is intended to give you the information you need to help you overcome your shoulder joint pain. My passion is to share this information and my advice in an easy to understand, accessible format to empower you to take control of your pain. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please use the Site Map.

Please be aware that Shoulder-Pain-Explained.com is intended for information purposes only. It should never delay or prevent you from seeking or following medical advice or treatment. Any incidence of pain, weakness of instability should be evaluated by your health professional – please see our terms and conditions before proceeding. 

If you are suffering from pain elsewhere, we also have sister sites on knee pain and foot and ankle problems.  I hope you enjoy your visit to Shoulder-Pain-Explained.com.

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Page Last Updated: June 13th, 2024
Next Review Due: June 13th, 2026