Shoulder pain

MSK - Medical Advice - Shoulder pain - Top Image
Shoulder pain is fairly common common, affecting about three in 10 adults at any one time.
It can be caused through injury, repetitive activities or can often start without a specific cause. Some of the reasons are included below.
  • Poor posture
  • A frozen shoulder a painful condition that reduces normal movement in the joint and can sometimes prevent movement in the shoulder (see our leaflet for more information)
  • Rotator cuff disorders the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help to keep it stable
  • Shoulder instability where the shoulder is unstable and has an unusually large range of movement (hypermobility)
  • Acromioclavicular joint disorders conditions that affect the acromioclavicular joint, the joint at the top of the shoulder
  • Osteoarthritis in the shoulder joints
  • A broken (fractured) bone, such as a fracture of the humerus (upper arm bone) or broken collarbone
Although shoulder pain can restrict your daily activities, there are things you can do at home to treat shoulder pain including using painkillers and ice to reduce inflammation.
Please see our advice leaflets for more information.
If you feel you need further help, please contact us directly or you ask your GP to refer you to our physiotherapy service.

How to be referred

You can either be referred by your GP or you can self refer. Click here to refer yourself to MSK Physiotherapy.

Contact us

For general physiotherapy queries, please call 020 3224 4789.

For new referral queries, please contact our central bookings team on 020 3316 1111.

For AQP referral queries, please call 020 3224 4692.

For MSK CATS referral queries, please call 020 3224 4744.
For any queries please email

Advice Leaflets

Exercise Videos

Useful Apps

Please click each title to find out more.

NHS 24 MSK Help

Advice on common muscle, back and joint problems:

  • Exercises and video clips to help you get moving safely
  • Information to help with Work Working lives information
  • Reminders to do your exercises and/or attend any appointments
  • A log to keep a note of your progress


In order to be able to treat pain effectively, pain experts recommend you keep a diary. CatchMyPain allows you to track your pain problem by using detailed drawings and by providing other relevant information. The diary will help you to explain your pain problem to any care provider.

Medical iRehab Shoulder Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff consists of a group of 4 muscles that help to hold the shoulder joint together and allow it to function. These muscles include the supraspinatous, infraspinatous, teres minor and subscapularis. A rotator cuff injury occurs when you strain or tear the tendon or the fibers of one or more of these muscles. This application provides an overview of this injury, including general information, assistance with pain control and a treatment approach.

Medical iRehab Shoulder Instability

The shoulder joint is one of the most mobile joints in the body. The anatomy of the shoulder joint allows for this mobility, however, it makes it less stable. The instability may allow for the bones of the joint to come partially apart (what doctors call subluxation) or if it is more severe, the bones may come completely apart or dislocate. This application provides an overview of this injury, including general information, assistance with pain control and a treatment approach.

Page last updated: 11 Jul 2017
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