As a highly mobile and functional joint, it is not surprising that shoulder pain increases as we age. The most common causes of shoulder pain include osteoarthritis of the main shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint) and rotator cuff arthropathy (degenerative change). Past trauma to the joint or inflammatory joint disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also be a precursor to the syndrome of shoulder pain.
Patients commonly experience pain in the shoulder region that extends into the upper arm, and is worse both with movement and at night. Often patients find the pain is limiting many tasks, particularly reaching overhead, brushing hair etc, as well as disturbing their sleep. With disuse, supporting shoulder muscles can become weak which makes the pain and disability worse, and can result in a “frozen shoulder”.