Whether due to a sports injury or just occurring as we use our shoulders in every day activity shoulder pain is common as we get older.
The two main causes of shoulder pain, an inflammation of the shoulder joint itself (capsulitis) and inflammation or damage to the long tendon that runs above the shoulder joint and behind the collar bone (supraspinatus tendonitis) are common in people undertaking sports or repetitive activities such as gardening or leaf sweeping.
Clinical examination of the shoulder and arm will usually distinguish between the two and steroid injection can be both safe and very effective – not only can the pain go but shoulder stiffness is eased and the potential to progress to a stiff and immobile shoulder (frozen shoulder) can be avoided.
Some pain in the shoulder can actually be the result of a neck or upper spinal problem and not be the result of shoulder problems. Obviously in these cases treatment to the shoulder itself will not be helpful and attention should turn to treating the neck.