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Shoulder pain can present itself in varying degrees of pain and varying degrees of restricted movement.

Pain can be mild to severe with or without reduced range of movement, or in some case no movement at all. Symptoms can be felt at the Front, Side, Top or Back of the Shoulder.

Most shoulder presentations I see typically fall under the Musculoskeletal differentials, however in some cases shoulder pain can be an indication of underlying visceral pathology.

Common causes of shoulder pain I treat in clinic:
● Rotator cuff - Tear, Tendonitis, Shoulder ● Impingement 
● Frozen Shoulder 
● Thoracic outlet syndrome 
● Osteoarthritis 
● Rheumatoid arthritis 
● Bursitis
● Dislocation
● Separation
● Fracture 
● Tendon Sprains or Ruptures

Shoulder symptoms can present in different ways, such as:
● Pain
● Radiating pain down arm
● Pins and needles
● Numbness
● Weakness
● Burning
● Swelling / Redness/ Bruising
● Reduced full range of movement
● Inability to lift arm

Symptoms I ask about regarding shoulder pain, and which you as patients should be aware of:
● Shortness Of Breath
● Chest Pain with/out pain radiating down the left arm
● Persistent Dry Cough and Wheeze
● Pain in chest after eating/ Small amounts of exertion
● Palpitations in chest
● Cold extremities with/out colour change
● Difficulty Breathing in and/or out

Possible causes of these symptoms include:
● Abdominal Pain
● Subarachnoid haemorrhage
● Heart attack
● Lung Cancer
● Liver cancer
● Pulmonary Embolism
● Gallstones
● Pancreatitis

If you are experiencing any symptoms above, please seek medical attention immediately.

Shoulders can be stubborn in recovery as it is a incredible complex, mobile joint and an area we use many times each day. Without treatment intervention, some cases can stay present and painful for months up to years depending on the presentation.

Shoulder Pain: Resources
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