Understand Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder injuries are common in all different ages. These injuries can occur from sporting and other accidents as well as from repetitive actions (e.g. factory workers and certain everyday activities where repeated movements lead to wear of the structures around the shoulder) and thirdly in older people where minimal force can damage degenerated structures.

Shoulder injuries can occur from direct falls onto the shoulder or indirect forces where the arm is outstretched and causes an injury to the shoulder- the force is applied to the lever of the arm which injures the pivot (the shoulder joint).

The diagnosis of the cause of shoulder pain can be made easier by taking into account certain principles. The age and gender of the person experiencing the pain, certain types of shoulder pain and disorders occur with frequency in certain ages and genders – commonly these conditions should be considered in such a person.

In an effort to help you understand your shoulder pain, we have created an infographic. You can select the area of pain and rollover the possible causes of pain, you can find out more information by selecting to learn more about the cause of the pain. From there you can contact us, request an appointment or submit a question in our Q&A section. Be sure to scroll past the slider for more information on shoulder pain via injuries, age, gender and localisation. and if you are a sportsmen, you can also view Injuries Related to Rugby and Injuries Related to Cricket for more information.


TOP TOP Shoulder-Illustration Shoulder-Illustration Rollover the Possible Causes of Pain: AC Joint Dislocation AC Joint Degeneration A high percentage of treated AC Joint problems occurs in active contact sporting males. > Learn More About AC Joint Dislocations Occurs more in males and is often related to sport where repeated falls on the shoulder may lead to direct impact and damage of this small joint on the top of the shoulder.
It is common to see this condition in sportsmen in the 20-30 age group.
Other upper body sports like weight lifting is also known to cause this and one type of this condition is referred to as (“weight lifter’s shoulder”).
> Learn More About AC Joint Degeneration OUTSIDE FRONT ALL OVER
FRONT TOP Shoulder-Illustration Shoulder-Illustration Rollover the Possible Causes of Pain: SLAP Tears Shoulder Osteoarthritis This is usually seen in sportsmen (throwing and rugby athletes), and sometimes in weightlifters. > Learn More About SLAP Tears Also known as Arthritis, the osteo-arthritic joint becomes painful with limited range of motion and night pain can be an important feature. A “grating” feeling may be experienced in the joint and this may even be audible. A feeling of catching or slipping may also be felt due to the
rough surfaces moving over each other.
This is usually seen in males and females 60 years and older.
> Learn More About Shoulder Osteoarthritis OUTSIDE FRONT ALL OVER
OUTSIDE TOP Shoulder-Illustration Rollover the Possible Causes of Pain: Rotator Cuff Tears Frozen Shoulder Pain is usually experienced in the shoulder and down the outer aspect of the upper arm, often worse at night. There may be an increase in the pain and a weakness experienced when elevating the arm. Occasionally, a “hooking” feeling is experienced, especially bringing the arm down to waist level from an overhead position. > Learn More About Rotator Cuff Tears It is most common in females (40-50 years) but could affect males and other age groups.
It may follow injuries, operations or be associated with medical conditions like diabetes mellitus.
It is referred to as “adhesive capsulitis” suggesting that the capsule is inflamed and adhering (clinging) to the joint, causing pain and limitation of motion.
OUTSIDE FRONT ALL OVER Calcific Tendonitis A calcium deposit accumulates in one of the tendons of the shoulder. The cause is unknown and not related to injury, diet or osteoporosis. The patient most commonly affected is a female 40-50 years of age, but other age groups and males are regularly affected. > Learn More About Calcific Tendonitis Shoulder-Illustration > Learn More About Frozen Shoulder
ALL OVER TOP Shoulder-Illustration Rollover the Possible Causes of Pain: Shoulder Dislocation Occurs in contact sports like rugby, sometimes a piece of bone is also pulled off the glenoid (socket) as well.

Also can occur at a relatively young age (16-18) and is a bit more common in girls. They may also have other problems due to the loose ligaments e.g. unstable knee caps, etc.
The first dislocation may occur due to minimal trauma in contrast to the traumatic type.
> Learn More About Shoulder Dislocations OUTSIDE FRONT ALL OVER
Click to Select the Area of Pain:

Please note, our infographic is for educational purposes only and in no way should be seen as a final diagnosis, only an appointment with an Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon can diagnose a shoulder injury.


Standard Sling Vs Abduction Brace




Additional Information on Shoulder Pain

Is your injury sports related

View our Injuries Related to Sports page to find out more.