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What is the Cause of Pain in Front of Your Shoulder?

Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by Nurse Vicky

What is the Cause of Pain in Front of  Your Shoulder?

The first step in diagnosing a problem with your shoulder is to consult your GP.

Your GP can check the area and assess your movement.

Afterward, they can suggest treatments or refer you to a physiotherapist, if necessary.

Physiotherapy is usually free and doesn’t require hospital scans, although you may have to pay for it.

During treatment, you should avoid doing things that aggravate your pain.


If you have pain in front of your shoulder, you might have tendonitis.

Tendonitis is a common condition, and the symptoms of the disorder can be very similar to pain felt in the back of the shoulder.

Symptoms of tendonitis in the front of the shoulder include severe pain that comes and goes, difficulty in sleeping on the affected shoulder, and severe pain when raising the arm overhead.

There are several different causes of shoulder pain, and not all of them are traumatic.

Sometimes the cause of pain in the front of the shoulder is something as simple as a problem with the rotator cuff.

It can also be caused by problems in the other joints in the back or neck, such as a broken collarbone.

Tendonitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging and injuries to the upper back or neck.

Adhesive capsulitis

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There are several causes of the pain in the front of the shoulder due to adhesive capsulitis.

Adhesive capsulitis is caused by a buildup of scar tissue that impairs shoulder function and causes pain and stiffness.

It can develop spontaneously or after a shoulder trauma or surgery.

Non-operative and surgical treatment options are described below. Regardless of the cause, the most common treatment option is rest.

The most common cause of pain in the front of the shoulder is a frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis.

This condition begins gradually and limits the range of motion of the shoulder.

Over time, the pain and stiffness may become so severe that daily activities are impossible.

There is currently no known cure for this condition, but physical therapy is one option.

Treatment may include exercises designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the shoulder.



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Pain in front of shoulder may be related to osteoarthritis.

This joint disorder causes the cartilage to wear away and leads to bone spurs.

Additionally, joint fluid may build up under the cartilage and put pressure on the bone.

Osteoarthritis often develops in younger people following a shoulder injury or repetitive use of the shoulder.

Moreover, it is important to consult a physician for proper diagnosis.

Doctors diagnose osteoarthritis in the joint by reviewing the patient’s medical history and performing a physical exam to determine the extent of the damage to the joint.

The doctor also examines the pain, range of motion, and surrounding tissues.

During the examination, the physician can also check for any signs of atrophy in a muscle near the joint.

In severe cases, the doctor will recommend a surgical procedure to relieve the pain and restore full mobility of the joint.


There are many things you can do to treat bursitis, including icing, rest, and doing gentle exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles.

If the pain is severe enough to cause you to seek medical attention, you can apply ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation.

You can also use compression gear, ice packs, or custom-fitted braces.

If you do suffer from bursitis, steroid injections may help reduce inflammation.

However, these injections will not cure bursitis and can increase your risk of ruptured tendons.

In some cases, the inflamed bursa can be surgically removed and a new one will grow in its place.

If that does not work, your doctor can remove a bone that is blocking the rotator cuff tendon and make space for a new bursa.

Discuss your options with your doctor. If the inflamed bursa is not the cause of your pain, you should visit an orthopedic doctor for an evaluation.

Subacromial bursitis

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If you’re experiencing pain in front of your shoulder, you probably have subacromial bursitis.

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints of the shoulder and help them move smoothly.

The bursa floor is a thin, semi-permeable membrane that produces a viscous fluid that acts as a cushion between bones and tendons.

There are a number of treatment options available, including steroid injections and icing the affected area.

In rare cases, stronger pain medications are prescribed.

In such cases, the doctor may also suggest physical therapy and surgery to alleviate pain.

These treatments are not effective in treating subacromial bursitis because they do not cure the underlying cause of the pain.

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