Shoulder Pain

We're sorry you have shoulder pain!

The goal of this guide is to provide information while awaiting evaluation with your doctor, or for additional information after you have seen him or her. Please keep in mind that this guide is not intended to replace a face-to-face evaluation with your doctor. The diagnoses provided are among the most common that could explain your symptoms, but the list is not exhaustive and there are many other possibilities. In addition, more than one condition may be present at the same time. For example, a person with rheumatoid arthritis could also have tendonitis.

The shoulder is prone to developing pain in part because its anatomy is complex and because it has the largest range of motion of any joint in the body. Some of these muscles, tendons, and bursae are common causes of shoulder pain, even when the joint itself is fine.

Please click here to continue.

Do you have severe shoulder pain with the following symptoms:

  • fever

  • redness

  • marked swelling

  • inability to use the joint

  • recent significant trauma (a fall, car accident, etc.)?

Yes, one or more of these is true.

No, I have had none of the above.

Are your symptoms mild? For example, are you still able to do most or all of your usual activities?

Yes, my symptoms are mild.

No, my symptoms are severe.

Have you had any change in activity that might have triggered your shoulder pain, such as playing tennis, golf or other repetitive stress?

Yes, I can think of a possible trigger.

Nope, I can't think of any reason for my shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain is most likely due to tendonitis, muscle strain or a sprain; and it may improve on its own over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid those activities that seem to aggravate the pain. An "air splint" or brace may be helpful. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice may also provide some relief.

If symptoms are getting worse or do not improve, consult your physician.

To better understand why your shoulder is hurting, it may be helpful to gather some more information about it.

Click here to continue.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I am 60 or older.

No, I am younger than 60.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) or frozen shoulder are also possible. Frozen shoulder is a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a muscle strain or other shoulder injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. Shoulder arthritis is less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • fibromyalgia.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • a muscle strain or other injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

Rheumatoid arthritis or a related joint disease is possible, especially if there is swelling in your joints. Some combination of these may be present and there are still other possibilities.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • fibromyalgia.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu).

  • fibromyalgia.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Perhaps there is more than one of these conditions present at the same time.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions) or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. A crystal-induced arthritis (such as gout or pseudogout) or even an infection are also possible, though less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions) or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • a viral infection.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • fibromyalgia

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

Another arthritic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is also possible, depending on which other joints are involved and whether there is swelling.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Less likely is a "crystal-induced" arthritis, such as gout or pseudogout. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • a viral infection.

A combination of these is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines and rest may be helpful, there are other possible causes of your shoulder pain and it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms and to begin treatment.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, shoulder pain is most likely due to tendonitis, muscle strain or a sprain related to an activity that stressed the joint, tendons and/or muscles of the shoulder; it should improve over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid overuse. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice might be helpful.

If symptoms are getting worse or do not improve, consult your physician.

To better understand why your shoulder is hurting, it may be helpful to gather some more information about it.

Click here to continue.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I am 60 or older.

No, I am younger than 60.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are tendonitis, or a muscle strain. A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) or frozen shoulder are also possible. Frozen shoulder is a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a muscle strain or other shoulder injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. Shoulder arthritis is less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma. Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu),

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other injury

  • tendonitis

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Rheumatoid arthritis or a related joint disease is possible, especially if there is swelling in your joints. Some combination of these may be present and there are still other possibilities.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • fibromyalgia.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Perhaps there is more than one of these conditions present at the same time.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions) or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. A crystal-induced arthritis (such as gout or pseudogout) or even an infection are also possible, though less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • a viral infection.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • fibromyalgia

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

Another arthritic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is also possible, depending on which other joints are involved and whether there is swelling.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Less likely is a "crystal-induced" arthritis, such as gout or pseudogout. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • bursitis

  • fibromyalgia

  • tendonitis

  • a viral infection.

A combination of these is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines and rest may be helpful, there are other possible causes of your shoulder pain and it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms and to begin treatment.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Have you had any change in activity that might have triggered your shoulder pain, such as playing tennis, golf or other repetitive stress?

Yes, I can think of a possible trigger.

Nope, I can't think of any reason for my shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain is most likely due to tendonitis, muscle strain or a sprain, and it may improve on its own over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid those activities that seem to aggravate the pain. An "air splint" or brace may be helpful. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice may also provide some relief.

If symptoms are getting worse or do not improve, consult your physician.

To better understand why your shoulder is hurting, it may be helpful to gather some more information about it.

Click here to continue.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I am 60 or older.

No, I am younger than 60.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are tendonitis, or a muscle strain. A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) or frozen shoulder are also possible. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a muscle strain or other shoulder injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. Shoulder arthritis is less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other injury

  • tendonitis

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Rheumatoid arthritis or a related joint disease is possible, especially if there is swelling in your joints. Some combination of these may be present and there are still other possibilities.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu).

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Perhaps there is more than one of these conditions present at the same time.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. A crystal-induced arthritis (such as gout or pseudogout) or even an infection are also possible, though less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • a viral infection.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • fibromyalgia

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

Another arthritic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is also possible, depending on which other joints are involved and whether there is swelling.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection.

Less likely is a "crystal-induced" arthritis, such as gout or pseudogout. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • bursitis

  • fibromyalgia

  • a viral infection.

A combination of these is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines and rest may be helpful, there are other possible causes of your shoulder pain and it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms and to begin treatment.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain is most likely due to tendonitis, muscle strain or a sprain related to an activity that stressed the joint, tendons and/or muscles of the shoulder; it should improve over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid overuse. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice might be helpful.

If symptoms are getting worse or do not improve, consult your physician.

To better understand why your shoulder is hurting, it may be helpful to gather some more information about it.

Click here to continue.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I am 60 or older.

No, I am younger than 60.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) or frozen shoulder are also possible. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a muscle strain or other shoulder injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. Shoulder arthritis is less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain or other injury

  • tendonitis

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Rheumatoid arthritis or a related joint disease is possible, especially if there is swelling in your joints. Some combination of these may be present and there are still other possibilities.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu).

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Perhaps there is more than one of these conditions present at the same time.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. A crystal-induced arthritis (such as gout or pseudogout) or even an infection are also possible, though less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis (especially if there is swelling of multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • a viral infection.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • fibromyalgia

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

Another arthritic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is also possible, depending on which other joints are involved and whether there is swelling.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection.

Less likely is a "crystal-induced" arthritis, such as gout or pseudogout. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • bursitis

  • a viral infection.

A combination of these is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines and rest may be helpful, there are other possible causes of your shoulder pain and it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms and to begin treatment.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Have you had any change in activity that might have triggered your shoulder pain, such as playing tennis, golf or other repetitive stress?

Yes, I can think of a possible trigger.

Nope, I can't think of any reason for my shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain is most likely due to tendonitis, muscle strain or a sprain; and it may improve on its own over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid those activities that seem to aggravate the pain. An "air splint" or brace may be helpful. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice may also provide some relief.

If symptoms are getting worse or do not go away, consult your physician.

To better understand why your shoulder is hurting, it may be helpful to gather some more information about it.

Click here to continue.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I am 60 or older.

No, I am younger than 60.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are tendonitis, or a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) or frozen shoulder are also possible. Frozen shoulder is a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions. It may complicate other shoulder conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. Shoulder arthritis is less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain or other injury

  • tendonitis

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Rheumatoid arthritis or a related joint disease is possible, especially if there is swelling in your joints. Some combination of these may be present and there are still other possibilities.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • fibromyalgia

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu).

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Perhaps there is more than one of these conditions present at the same time.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. A crystal-induced arthritis (such as gout or pseudogout) or even an infection are also possible, though less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

    or a viral infection

  • tendonitis, including rotator cuff disease (though this would not explain pain in joints other than the shoulders).

Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible. Other causes of pain in multiple areas include an underactive thyroid, an elevated blood calcium level or deficient vitamin D.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • fibromyalgia

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

Another arthritic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is also possible, depending on which other joints are involved and whether there is swelling.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection

  • tendonitis, including rotator cuff disease (though this would not explain pain in joints other than the shoulders).

Less likely is a "crystal-induced" arthritis, such as gout or pseudogout. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • bursitis

  • a viral infection.

A combination of these is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines and rest may be helpful, there are other possible causes of your shoulder pain and it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms and to begin treatment.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain is most likely due to tendonitis, muscle strain or a sprain related to an activity that stressed the joint, tendons and/or muscles of the shoulder; it should improve over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid overuse. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice might be helpful.

If symptoms are getting worse or do not resolve, consult your physician.

More information about your shoulder pain may be helpful to better understand why it is hurting. Click below to continue.

Click here to continue.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I am 60 or older.

No, I am younger than 60.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are tendonitis, or a muscle strain.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain. A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) or frozen shoulder are also possible. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are a muscle strain or other shoulder injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. Shoulder arthritis is less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a muscle strain or other minor injury.

A torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) is also possible, especially if there was recent trauma.

Frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • rheumatoid arthritis (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints) or a related type of arthritis

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis, including rotator cuff disease (though this would not explain pain in joints other than the shoulders)

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • muscle strain or other injury

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis.

Rheumatoid arthritis or a related joint disease is possible, especially if there is swelling in your joints. Some combination of these may be present and there are still other possibilities.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu)

  • fibromyalgia.

    .

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • fibromyalgia

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection (as with the severe aches and pains during the flu).

Tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain are possible, but would not explain pain in your other joints. Perhaps there is more than one of these conditions present at the same time.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

In addition to pain in one shoulder, do you have pain in other joints?

Yes, I have pain in other joints.

No, the shoulder is the only joint bothering me now.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • a partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon

  • frozen shoulder, a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions, may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response. A crystal-induced arthritis (such as gout or pseudogout) or even an infection are also possible, though less likely.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • tendonitis

  • bursitis

  • muscle strain.

Frozen shoulder or a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) are also possible as complications of these other conditions. Frozen shoulder (a condition in which motion in the shoulder is severely limited in all directions), may complicate any of these conditions if pain lasts long enough and if you restrict your motion as a response.

Over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, but if symptoms persist, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Did your shoulder pain begin suddenly?

Yes, my pain began suddenly.

No, my pain began gradually.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • rheumatoid arthritis (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis, including rotator cuff disease

  • a viral infection.

Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • fibromyalgia

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR).

Another arthritic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is also possible, depending on which other joints are involved and whether there is swelling.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Can you reproduce the pain by pressing on one spot over the front or outside of the shoulder?

Yes, I can bring on the pain by pressing.

No, I cannot reproduce the pain by pressing.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your joint pain include

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis)

  • tendonitis, including rotator cuff disease

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is joint swelling)

  • a viral infection.

Less likely is a "crystal-induced" arthritis, such as gout or pseudogout. Some combination of these or another arthritic disease is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines, rest and ice may be helpful, it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms (unless they are improving on their own).

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based on your answers, some of the most likely causes of your shoulder pain are

  • rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition (especially if there is swelling in multiple joints)

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

  • fibromyalgia

  • bursitis

  • tendonitis

  • a viral infection.

A combination of these is also possible.

While over-the-counter pain medicines and rest may be helpful, there are other possible causes of your shoulder pain and it is important that you see a physician to evaluate these symptoms and to begin treatment.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Have you had any change in activity that might have triggered your shoulder pain, such as playing tennis, golf or other repetitive stress?

Yes, I can think of a possible trigger.

Nope, I can't think of any reason for my shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain could be due to tendonitis, strain or sprain, and it may improve on its own over time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid those activities that may have triggered the pain. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice may also provide some relief.

For some, a stretching and exercise program, ultrasound treatment, electrical stimulation or alternative approaches (e.g., massage and chiropractic care) helps with shoulder pain.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Use over-the-counter medication for pain such as acetaminophen or low-dose ibuprofen.

  • Adjust your lifestyle and try non-medication approaches

  • Rest. For example, if playing extra sets of tennis preceded your shoulder pain, avoid tennis until the pain has gotten better or gone away.

  • Stretch often. For example, stretch the shoulder through its range of motion before activities that require repetitive movements.

  • Get help or use a stepstool. If you must repeatedly reach something well over your head, avoid straining your shoulder.

  • Use a heating pad on the sore area. Be careful not to burn the skin.

  • Consult a physical therapist or other practitioner. For some individuals, a stretching and exercise program, ultrasound treatment, or electrical stimulation helps with shoulder pain.

  • Use a combination of the options above.

If needed, your health care provider may recommend stronger, prescription strength medications.

Click here for a list of conditions that may cause shoulder pain.

Based upon your answers, your shoulder pain could be due to tendonitis, strain or sprain, perhaps related to recent activities. It may improve on its own in a short amount of time.

To decrease pain, rest the shoulder and avoid those activities that may have triggered the pain. Over-the-counter pain medications, topical treatments (such as IcyHot or BenGay), or the application of ice may also provide some relief.

For some, a stretching and exercise program, ultrasound treatment, electrical stimulation, or alternative approaches (e.g., massage and chiropractic care) helps with shoulder pain.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Use over-the-counter medication for pain such as acetaminophen or low-dose ibuprofen.

  • Adjust your lifestyle and try non-medication approaches.

  • Rest. For example, if playing extra sets of tennis preceded your shoulder pain, avoid tennis until the pain has subsided or resolved.

  • Stretch often. For example, stretch the shoulder through its range of motion before activities that require repetitive movements.

  • Get help or use a stepstool. If you must repeatedly reach something well over your head, avoid straining your shoulder.

  • Use a heating pad on the sore area. Be careful not to burn the skin.

  • Consult a physical therapist or other practitioner. For some individuals, a stretching and exercise program, ultrasound treatment, or electrical stimulation helps with shoulder pain.

  • Use a combination of the options above.

If needed, your health care provider may recommend stronger, prescription-strength medications.

Click here for more information.

The following are conditions that may cause shoulder pain:

  • ankylosing spondylitis - a form of arthritis with prominent back pain; it's also a type of spondyloarthropathy

  • arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease - a form of arthritis that may accompany Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis; it's also a type of spondyloarthropathy

  • bursitis - inflammation of the bursa (or sac) surrounding the shoulder joint

  • fibromyalgia - a cause of diffuse pain

  • fracture - a broken bone

  • gout - a form of arthritis caused by uric acid crystals

  • joint infection, including Lyme disease

  • osteoarthritis - a form of wear and tear, or degenerative, joint disease

  • polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) - a form of arthritis affecting older persons, perhaps related to rheumatoid arthritis

  • pseudogout - a form of arthritis caused by calcium crystals

  • psoriatic arthritis - a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis, and also a type of spondyloarthropathy

  • Reiter's syndrome - a form of arthritis that may follow urinary, genital or bowel infection, and a member of the spondyloarthropathy family

  • rheumatoid arthritis - a cause of arthritis affecting multiple joints

  • rotator cuff disease - a common form of tendon disease in the shoulder

  • spondyloarthropathy - see above for ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, and Reiter's syndrome

  • sprain - an injury that stretches or tears ligaments

  • strain - an injury that stretches or tears muscle fibers

  • tendonitis - tendon inflammation

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You have completed the shoulder pain decision guide. We hope your shoulder pain goes away quickly but if it does not, please return here to update your symptoms and to find more information.

Remember, if your shoulder pain is severe, followed significant injury or is associated with fever or marked swelling, you should see your doctor right away or proceed directly to an emergency room. It may be helpful to return here later once your initial evaluation has been completed.

Based on your symptoms, you could have an infection, fracture or other serious cause of shoulder pain.

Although many people with these symptoms do not turn out to have anything serious, it is generally a good idea to seek medical attention to be sure. Contact your doctor or go to a local emergency room right away for evaluation!