Don’t shrug off shoulder pain

Pain in this joint can curb your independence. Catch problems early, build strength, and avoid injury.


Image: © Barry Austin/Thinkstock

It's easy to take your shoulders for granted. You don't think about them when you put your arm through a sleeve or reach out for something. But weak or injured shoulders can limit your daily function and rob you of your independence. You may not be able to open a door, push up from a chair or a couch, or tuck in your shirt without wincing in pain.

"Shoulder pain is common among older adults. Studies suggest it occurs in up to 31% of adults," says Amy Devaney, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

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