Stiffness or restricted movement in the shoulder joint can also have pain present. Pain with a stiff shoulder can be from an adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), a labral tear, bone surface damage, creating an osteochondral defect (OCD), loose bodies, muscle tightness, strains or tears and ligament damage.

Arthritic shoulders are associated with stiffness and can be combined with pain. Also impingement issues or biomechanical problems may cause some stiffness and it may also becomes stiff when protecting the joint through inhibition of the muscles. Other 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.

  • 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.

  • Dislocated Shoulder

    Dislocated Shoulder

    A dislocated shoulder is a traumatic and painful injury often caused in contact sports or from a fall.

  • 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.

  • Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula

    A winged scapula is a symptom of another condition, rather than an injury itself. It is where the shoulder blade protrudes out on the back, rather than laying flat against the back of the chest wall.

  • 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.

  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Rotator cuff tendonitis or tendinopathy is a degenerative condition affecting of one or more of the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Contusion

    Deltoid Contusion

    A deltoid contusion is a bruise in the deltoid muscle which is situated on the side of the shoulder. This occurs after a direct impact to the muscle, usually from a hard, blunt object such as a hard ball or an opponents elbow!

  • 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.