Shoulder Pain (unilateral) Treatment
The treatment for shoulder pain depends on the cause. General measures for shoulder pain include rest, a sling, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.
Treatment for shoulder pain may include:
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- Long term immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder.
- If you wear a shoulder sling for longer than a week make sure you perform shoulder range of motion exercises twice a day to avoid frozen shoulder.
- Cold compresses
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Oral corticosteroid medications
- Corticosteroid injections for shoulder pain:
- Effective for tendinitis and other inflammatory conditions
- Nonprescription pain rubs
- Physical therapy for the shoulder pain
- Occupational therapy
- Surgery for shoulder injuries:
For more information:
Shoulder Pain (unilateral) Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat shoulder pain:
Continue to Shoulder Pain (unilateral) Home Care
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- Ginn KA, Cohen ML. Conservative treatment for shoulder pain: prognostic indicators of outcome. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Aug;85(8):1231-5. 
- Green S, Buchbinder R, Hetrick S. Acupuncture for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD005319. 
- Hanchard NC, Howe TE, Gilbert MM. Diagnosis of shoulder pain by history and selective tissue tension: agreement between assessors. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005 Mar;35(3):147-53.