Pain on top of Shoulder

If you are one of those people who gets shoulder pain right on top of the joint, chances are the problem is coming from somewhere in the shoulder joint itself. If the pain spreads more into the shoulder there may be a problem with the soft tissues.

If you get pain along the top of the shoulder that extends up to the neck or down the arm, chances are there is a neural element to it with some degree of nerve compression. Or you might have top of shoulder muscle pain due to muscle tension from stress or poor posture.

Causes of Pain On Top Of Shoulder
  • Impingement Syndrome;
  • Clavicle Injuries;
  • Rotator Cuff Tear;S
  • Supraspinatus Tendonitis;
  • Neural Problems;
  • Muscle Strain.
Top Of Shoulder Pain Treatment:
  • Reduce Pain: medication, ice, Manual therapy, Tecartherapy, laser, shockwaves;
  • Reduce Tightness: shoulder stretches, upper back stretches, massage, posture re-education;
  • Improve Shoulder Strength & Stability: rotator cuff strengthening and scapular stabilization exercises;
  • Repair Damage: surgery e.g. subacromial decompression or labrum repair.

Physiotherapy is often really helpful for top of shoulder pain as not only can they fully assess your shoulder and work out what is causing your pain giving you an accurate top shoulder pain diagnosis, they can advise on rehab and provide any manual therapy and electrotherapy treatment that might help with top of shoulder pain relief. In most cases, your pain should improve within 6-12 weeks.

Top Shoulder Pain Diagnosis

Here’s a quick checklist to help you with your top of shoulder pain diagnosis:

  • Bump On Top Of Shoulder: collar bone injury e.g. clavicle fracture or ACJ injury, muscle knot/trigger point, dislocated shoulder;
  • Top Of Shoulder Pain When Lifting Arm: impingement syndrome, supraspinatus tendonitis, rotator cuff tear, SLAP tear.
What Else Can Help?
The best way to get an accurate diagnosis is to see your doctor or physiotherapist. You can contact me by phone or Whatsapp 07455250006 or by email

Pain on top of Shoulder

Shoulder anatomy

Exercises to relieve shoulder pain

Exercise 1: Pendulum Stretch

Exercise 2: Arm across the chest

Exercise 3: Neck release

Exercise 4: Chest expansion

Causes of pain on top of shoulder

Causes of pain on top of shoulder

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