The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. The rotator cuff in the shoulder is made up of four tendons. These tendons give the shoulder a wide range of motion.
Any swelling, inflammation, tearing, or bony changes around these tendons causes pain when a person tries to move the arm above the head, behind the back, or straight out in front.
The tendons pass underneath a rigid bony arch in the shoulder. The most common cause of shoulder pain is when the tendons become trapped under this arch. The compressed tendons become inflamed or damaged, a condition called rotator cuff tendinitis. This can occur from general wear and tear as you get older, an activity that requires constant shoulder use like baseball pitching, or an injury.
Shoulder pain can also be due to:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed vary depending on the results of your physical examination. Treatment may include the following:
Surgery is a last resort.