Lateral Shoulder Pain: Causes and How to Fix It

What's The Most Common Cause of Lateral Shoulder Pain and How Do You fix It?

If you are experiencing lateral (outer) shoulder pain, you’re not alone. This is a very common problem that can be caused by many different things. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common causes of lateral shoulder pain and how to fix them. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to prevent lateral shoulder pain from occurring in the first place.

What are the most common causes of lateral shoulder pain?

The shoulder is a complex part of the body that is made up of a ball-and-socket joint, surrounded by tendons and muscles. This makes it susceptible to a variety of injuries and conditions that can cause pain. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include rotator cuff injuries, bursitis, frozen shoulder, and osteoarthritis.

Strengthen away your shoulder pain courtesy of PhysioPlus Health Group. (Read the caption)

How do I treat lateral shoulder pain?

There are a number of different ways to treat lateral shoulder pain. The best way to treat the pain will depend on the underlying cause. If the pain is caused by a simple muscle strain, rest and ice may be all that is needed. If the pain is caused by arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis, physiotherapy can help.

Physiotherapy is a branch of medicine that deals with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of physical disorders. It can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, ranging from musculoskeletal injuries to cardiovascular diseases. One of the most common reasons for seeing a physiotherapist is shoulder pain. The shoulder is a complex joint that is responsible for a very wide range of motion. As a result, it is susceptible to a variety of injuries and disorders. Physiotherapy can help to alleviate pain and improve range of motion in the shoulder joint. In addition, physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, which can help to prevent further injury. If you are suffering from shoulder pain, physiotherapy may be an effective treatment option for you.

How do I prevent shoulder pain?

First, it’s important to make sure there are not any imbalances or muscle weaknesses in your rotator cuff.

You see, your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the humerus (arm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade). These muscles and tendons work to stabilize the shoulder joint and allow for a wide range of motion. When any one of these muscles becomes weak it can cause the other muscles to compensate for it which puts extra stress on these muscles and the shoulder joint, increasing the chance of injury. When you see a physiotherapist they will check for muscle imbalances as well as other relevant factors and recommend a specific treatment plan to correct them. Addressing these imbalances/weaknesses can decrease the chances of it happening again.

Next, it is important to maintain good posture hygiene. Employing poor posture habits such as sitting for very prolonged periods of time can place extra stress on the shoulder joints. A physiotherapist can give you specific advice on how to reduce this stress brought on by poor posture habits.

Third, it is important to temporarily avoid activities that put strain on the shoulder joint. When you are rehabbing your shoulder injury, you want to reduce stress on the joint as you heal. As you improve, you’ll want to gradually increase stress to the shoulder to allow it to become stronger. A physiotherapist can guide you through a loading program to address appropriate times to protect and stress the shoulder.

And finally, be sure to warm up before participating in any activity that puts stress on the shoulder. 

By following these simple tips, you can help prevent shoulder pain and keep your shoulders healthy and strong.

Lateral shoulder pain can be a very annoying problem. However, it is often easily treatable with some simple home remedies or physiotherapy. If you are experiencing lateral shoulder pain, you can find a top physiotherapy clinic near you by clicking the search button on this page.

Causes of shoulder pain courtesy of BeActive Physiotherapy and Wellness. (Read the caption)


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lateral shoulder pain is a common complaint, and there are many potential causes. However, some causes are more serious than others. For example, pain that develops suddenly and is accompanied by shortness of breath, chest pain, or an irregular heartbeat may be a sign of an acute heart attack. Similarly, pain that radiates from the shoulder down the arm or pain that is accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness may indicate a pinched nerve or other spinal problem. Of course, less serious causes of left shoulder pain, such as muscle strain or arthritis, are also possible. If you are unsure what is causing your shoulder pain, it is best to consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

The duration of lateral shoulder pain will depend on the underlying cause. For example, acute injuries, such as muscle strains, typically heal within a few days to a week. Arthritis and other chronic conditions can cause long-term pain that may persist for months or even years. Physiotherapy can help quicken recovery times and reduce the pain.

There are many potential causes of lateral shoulder pain, and not all of them are due to an acute injury. For example, arthritis is a common cause of shoulder pain. Other non-injury related causes include bursitis, tendinitis, and pinched nerves. If you are experiencing lateral shoulder pain, it is best to consult with a a doctor or physiotherapist.

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patient’s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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