Shoulder pain, simply put, is pain around the shoulder region.  Shoulder pain can be global or can be more localized to the front (anterior), back (posterior), outside (lateral) or more towards the chest (medial).  Shoulder pain can also refer to pain along the shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle).


Causes of shoulder pain are protean.  Shoulder pain can come from a more diffuse disorder such as polymyalgia rheumatica, cervical spine cord syndromes, generalized myofascial pain or from a more localized disorder such as rotator cuff tendon pathology, bursal pathology, joint arthritis, etc.  Pain can be related to trauma or can be atraumatic, typically related to overuse.


Pain can be intermittent, chronic, throbbing, burning, sharp… it really depends on the underlying cause of the shoulder pain.  Biomechanics and posture can play a significant role as well.


Procedural treatment depends on the source of shoulder pain.  For instance, if shoulder pain is referred from a pinched nerve in the neck, targeting the nerve with an injection can help.  If pain is due to a rotator cuff tear, cortisone injections can provide pain relief while regenerative-type injections—such as PRP injections—may allow for more robust long term healing.