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Definition of Shoulder pain

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Shoulder pain: Pain in the shoulder due to an injury or disease. The design of the shoulder joint is such that it sacrifices stability for mobility. As an extremely mobile joint that plays a central role in the action of a major extremity (the arm), the shoulder is at high risk for injury. An injury can involve the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, the cartilage, menisci (plural for meniscus), or bones of the joint. Pain can also occur in the shoulder from diseases and conditions that involve the shoulder joint, the soft tissues and bones surrounding the shoulder, or the nerves that supply sensation to the shoulder area.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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