Front shoulder pain

Pain at the front of the shoulder or anterior pain can be acute or chronic. The bicep muscle and tendon is at the front of the shoulder and can be injured from a strain, tear or inflammatory response. The acromioclavicular joint or sternoclavicular joint can cause front shoulder pain. These joints can be swollen or can have sprain, torn or ruptured ligaments causing anterior pain that can be excruciating especially on movement.

A common ‘frozen’ shoulder or capsulitis can cause front shoulder pain at rest or on any movement of the joint similar to a shoulder impingement or painful arc syndrome. Front shoulder pain can also be caused by medical issues and can be referred from the neck in cervical radiculopathies. Injuries with this symptom are listed below:
  • 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.

  • Glenoid Labrum Tear

    Glenoid Labrum Tear

    The glenoid labrum is a fibrous ring of tissue which attaches to the rim of the glenoid shallow hole or socket of the shoulder blade where the ball of the humerus  or arm bone sits.

  • Shoulder Tendonitis

    Shoulder Tendonitis

    Shoulder Tendonitis or Tenosynovitis is a degenerative condition of any of the tendons surrounding the shoulder joint usually the rotator cuff tendons but can also occur in the biceps and triceps tendons.

  • Subacromial Bursitis

    Subacromial Bursitis

    Subacromial bursitis has similar symptoms to Supraspinatus tendinitis with shoulder pain over a 60 degree arc when the arm is lifted sideways.

  • 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.

  • Subscapularis Inflammation

    Subscapularis Inflammation

    The subscapularis is a very powerful muscle that rotates the arm inwards and is part of the rotator cuff group of muscles. It is often injured by throwers and can be stubborn to treat.

  • 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.

  • Long Head of Biceps Inflammation

    Long Head Biceps Inflammation

    The biceps muscle splits into two tendons at the shoulder. The long tendon runs over the top of the upper arm and attaches to the top of the shoulder blade.

  • Clavicle Muscle Attachments Inflammation

    Clavicle Attachments Inflammation

    The Clavicle or collar bone has a number of muscle attachments along its length. These can become painful and inflamed.

  • Clavicle Fracture

    Clavicle Fracture

    A clavicle fracture or broken collar bone as it is also known is a fracture of the clavicle bone which runs along the front of the shoulder to the breast bone or sternum in the middle of the chest.

  • Long Head of Biceps Rupture

    Long Head Biceps Rupture

    The biceps muscle splits into two tendons at the shoulder.The long tendon runs over the top of the humerus bone and can suffer a partial rupture causing pain at the front of the shoulder.

  • 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.

  • Deltoid Muscle Strain

    Deltoid Muscle Strain

    An injured Deltoid muscle can cause pain at the front, side or back of the shoulder.

  • 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 as soon as possible with the PRICE princples of immediate first aid. Always seek medical advice if pain is severe or you are in any doubt.