Types of Shoulder Pain
People with shoulder pain do not always experience the same type of pain. The doctor will probably ask what type of pain you’re feeling or how you would describe this pain. So, it will be a good idea to think about it and consider your answer in advance. The question is relevant, and your answer can contribute significantly to solving your problem.
While you’re reading about the types of shoulder pain, keep in mind that you can have different conditions and types of shoulder pain simultaneously. It is also important not to let yourself become biased by the type of pain you’re feeling and what you believe the underlying problem is.
With that in mind, the most common types of shoulder pain are:
- Aching shoulder pain: This type of pain is described as constant and difficult to locate. It feels deep in the shoulder, and when people ask where it hurt, you use the palms instead of the index finger. This type of pain is usually maintained for a long time and sometimes interferes with sleep. You would get this type of shoulder pain in a rotator cuff tear, especially if you cannot lift your arms. It is also found in tendinopathy when it is located outside the upper arm and is worsened by repetitive movements. You might also think of frozen shoulder, and this condition builds up over time until it causes significant pain and limitation of movement. Shoulder arthritis may also cause this type of pain, mainly when associated with morning stiffness, and it develops in the posterior portion of the shoulder.
- Sharp shoulder pain: Sharpness, in this case, refers to a sensation that is usually easier to pinpoint and happens specifically on certain occasions, triggered by certain movements. It is also known as piercing pain because it feels like you’re being stabbed with a puncture. This pain can coexist with aching shoulder pain in the case of a frozen shoulder. It may also happen in shoulder impingement syndrome when you raise your arm and move it laterally. Another possibility is acromioclavicular joint osteoarthritis, in which the collarbone is affected by inflammation and chronic degeneration. In this case, you feel sharp shoulder pain when doing a bench press or trying to raise your arms overhead.