Shoulder Pain

Content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School

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.

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Medical Reviewer: LeWine, Howard MD Last Annual Review Date: 2006-05-04T00:00:00-06:00

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