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Causes & Treatment

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The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body and has the widest range of motion, due to its unique layout.

A shoulder injury could occur through playing sports, exercising, manual labour or even repetitive motion. The pain may come from the joint itself or could originate from the surrounding ligaments, tendons and tissue.

When the shoulder becomes injured, it can cause severe pain and may severely hamper your ability to move freely.

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, it’s recommended you speak to a doctor. Our GPs can provide expert advice on managing the condition until it heals, prescribe medication and if needed, refer you on for testing or physiotherapy.

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Shoulder pain
Causes of shoulder pain

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Most shoulder problems will clear up by themselves fairly quickly and only affect a small area, however, excluding injury, there can be a range of causes, making self-diagnosis very difficult.

Shoulder problems are highly likely to affect you as you grow older. Those who are over 60 are specifically susceptible due to the tendons and tissue around the joint degenerating.

In rare cases, shoulder pain can be a symptom of a heart attack if it comes on suddenly and without provocation. If you think you may be experiencing a heart attack, you should seek emergency medical assistance urgently, especially when combined with chest tightness or any tingling/numbness.

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Treating Shoulder Pain

The treatment for shoulder pain depends on the cause and the severity of the pain. Treatments may include physical therapy, restricting movement, or even surgery.

A doctor may decide the best course of action is to prescribe medication, such as painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or another powerful anti-inflammatory like corticosteroids.

Self-care methods may also be prescribed to help relieve the pain, such as using ice packs, avoiding activities and carrying out exercises to strengthen the shoulder.

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and aren’t sure of the cause, or want help managing the pain - don’t delay, speak to a doctor online now:

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Treatment of shoulder pain in a man

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