Symptom, Causes and Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain

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What Are the Symptoms of Shoulder Pain? | Avant Orthopaedics

What Are the Symptoms of Shoulder Pain?

Learning how to spot the symptoms of shoulder pain is crucial in preventing the condition from worsening. There are often a wide variety of signs you can use to gain insight into your condition, which may present themselves as:

If you notice any of these signs, we recommend reaching out to our specialists at Avant Orthopaedics for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Are the Common Causes of Shoulder Pain?

The rotator cuff, a cluster of tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, is instrumental in maintaining stability and facilitating a range of arm movements. However, repetitive motions, sudden impacts, or ageing can lead to rotator cuff injuries. These injuries often result in symptoms such as persistent pain, especially when raising the arm or during certain activities, accompanied by weakness and limited range of motion.

Modern lifestyles and occupational demands often subject the shoulder to overuse or strain. Repetitive motions, such as constant computer use or lifting heavy objects, can lead to inflammation of tendons and muscles, resulting in shoulder pain.

Shoulder dislocation occurs when the humeral head (upper arm bone) slips out of the glenoid socket. Trauma, falls, or high-impact sports can trigger this unsettling experience. Immediate symptoms include intense pain, swelling, visible deformity, and an inability to move the arm.

The shoulder's intricate network of bones can succumb to fractures due to accidents, falls, or direct trauma. Fractures may involve the clavicle, scapula, or humerus, resulting in localised pain, swelling, bruising, and limited mobility.

There are three main types of arthritis that affect the shoulder: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and Post-traumatic Arthritis. The first is caused by the wear and tear with life's movements, which gradually erodes the protective cartilage within the shoulder joint, while the second is an autoimmune disorder that results in inflammation and joint damage. The final one is caused by a previous shoulder injury or trauma leading to residual damage and accelerated degeneration.

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, restricts shoulder movement due to the thickening and tightening of the joint capsule. The condition often develops gradually, progressing through phases of pain, stiffness, and restricted motion. Everyday activities become challenging, and even simple tasks like fastening a seatbelt can become difficult.

How Can the Source of Your Shoulder Pain Be Diagnosed?

Diagnosing the source of shoulder pain involves a meticulous journey of assessment, examination, and diagnostic tools to uncover the cause of your discomfort. Therefore, we would like to discourage the use of self-diagnosis, as uncovering the root of the problem is crucial to tailoring an effective treatment plan and setting the course for relief and recovery.

The orthopaedic surgeon will perform: 

Why is Shoulder Health Important?

Having a healthy shoulder plays a vital part in ensuring your physical and emotional well-being. Whether you're playing sports, enjoying hobbies, or simply embracing life's experiences, a well-functioning shoulder enhances your overall enjoyment and sense of fulfilment. Therefore, taking good care of your shoulder enables you to maintain independence and upper limb mobility.

Proper posture and alignment are usually tied to the spine, but the shoulder plays a part too. A healthy shoulder helps maintain a balanced posture, reducing the risk of strain on other areas of the body, such as the neck and back. By keeping your shoulders in good condition, you can prevent other neck, back and elbow ailments from developing or worsening.

You don’t have to be an athlete to cause overuse to your shoulders. Even the act of carrying a load of laundry up the stairs or using a sling bag will be uncomfortable with a poor shoulder. Therefore, keeping a well-maintained shoulder not only elevates your physical performance but also acts as a safeguard against setbacks. It reduces the risk of strain, tears, and overuse injuries, allowing you to consistently push your boundaries without fear of interruption due to shoulder-related issues.

When Should You Seek Professional Help?

Knowing when to seek professional help for shoulder pain is essential to ensure timely and effective management. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, we recommend you consult a healthcare provider immediately:

You don’t need to experience all of the following symptoms before reaching out for help, as timely intervention is important in preventing your condition from worsening.

Are You or a Loved One Suffering from Shoulder Pain?

Whether it’s a minor discomfort or a more persistent issue, we at Avant Orthopedics can help identify the cause of the pain and determine the most suitable course of treatment.


Book an appointment with us today to receive a personalised consultation.


Remember, early intervention can lead to better outcomes and a quicker road to recovery.

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