Aching shoulder

Aching or burning pain in the shoulder joint can be intermittent or constant. It can be referred from the neck and can either be at the front (anteriorly), the back (posteriorly) or from deep in the joint. An aching shoulder can be from a direct blow, a traumatic incident such as a fall, wear and tear (degeneration) or overuse.

The tendons, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, bones, bursa, nerves or a biomechanical issue can all cause an ache in the shoulder if injured. Injuries with this symptom are listed below:
  • Rotator Cuff Tear

    Rotator Cuff Tear

    A rotator cuff strain is a tear to any of the four rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder and is common in throwing and racket sports. They are so called because their job is to rotate the arm at the shoulder and provide a supportive cuff around the joint. Rotator cuff tears can range from mild to severe.

  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

    Shoulder Impingement

    Impingement syndrome is sometimes called swimmer’s shoulder or thrower’s shoulder and is caused by the tendons of the rotator cuff becoming impinged as they pass through the shoulder joint.

  • AC Joint Separation

    AC Joint Separation

    An AC joint separation or AC joint sprain is an injury to the ligament that holds the acromioclavicular joint together at the top of the shoulder. It is usually caused by fall onto an outstretched arm.

  • Frozen Shoulder

    Frozen Shoulder

    Adhesive capsulitis is the medical term for frozen shoulder which is a condition causing pain and restricted movement in the shoulder joint.

  • Supraspinatus Inflammation

    Supraspinatus Inflammation

    The supraspinatus muscle runs along the top of the shoulder blade and inserts via the tendon at the top of the arm or humerus bone. It is one of the rotator cuff muscles.

  • Pec Major Tendon Inflammation

    Pec Major - inflammation

    The Pectoralis Major tendon is weakest where it inserts into the arm or humerus bone and can become inflamed. It is common in racket players, rowers, swimmers, throwers and weight trainers.

  • Referred Shoulder Pain

    Referred Shoulder Pain

    Pain in the shoulder can be referred or caused by a problem in another area of the body such as the neck or spine. Pressure on nerves from various causes can result in pain being transmitted into the shoulder.

  • Suprascapular Neuropathy

    Suprascapular Neuropathy

    Suprascapular neuropathy usually occurs as a result of traction damage to the suprascapular nerve causing an aching or burning pain at the back and or side of the shoulder joint.

  • Supraspinatus Rupture

    Supraspinatus Rupture

    The supraspinatus muscle runs along the top of the shoulder blade and inserts at the top of the arm or humerus bone and is one of the four rotator cuff muscles.

  • Fracture of the Neck of the Humerus

    Fracture Neck of the Humerus

    A fractured neck of the humerus is often caused by falling onto an outstretched hand or a direct impact to the shoulder. It is seen more often in young adults, adolescents and the elderly.

  • Pec Major Tendon Strain (Rupture)

    Pec Major - Strain

    The pectoralis major muscle is a large powerful muscle at the front of the chest. It used to rotate the arm inwards. Its weak point is at the tendon where it attaches to the arm bone.

  • Shoulder Sprain

    Shoulder Sprain

    A shoulder sprain is damage to the shoulder ligaments or capsule which support the glenohumeral or shoulder joint. This may be stretching of the fibers or partial to full tears of the ligaments or joint capsule.

  • Shoulder Pain

    Shoulder injuries can be either acute or chronic depending on when they are diagnosed and how long the pain or disability has been felt for. If you are not sure what your injury is why not check out our shoulder pain symptom checker! An acute shoulder injury occurs suddenly either through direct impact, over stretching a muscle, tendon or ligament, overusing a muscle or tendon or twisting of the shoulder joint. A chronic shoulder injury may come on gradually over time.

  • Chronic Shoulder Injuries

    Gradual onset shoulder pain or chronic shoulder pain may come on over a period of time. The athlete may not have known the exact time of injury which could have been niggling away for a while as they train through it. Due to the complexity of the shoulder joint there are some injuries which may appear to have happened suddenly but also may develop gradually over time. A chronic shoulder injury may also be acutely painful.

  • Acute Shoulder Injuries

    Sudden onset or acute shoulder injuries are ones which happen suddenly, often though a fall onto an outstretched arm or through direct impact or over stretching or overloading. Often the athlete will feel a sudden sharp pain with discomfort and or loss of mobility. Sometimes there will be swelling and inflammation. It is important acute shoulder injuries are treated with the PRICE princples of immediate first aid. Always seek medical advice if pain is severe or you are in any doubt.