Shoulder Sprain Overview
What is a shoulder sprain?
A person with a shoulder sprain has stretched or torn a ligament in the shoulder. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that hold the bones together in a joint during movement. A force that bends or twists the shoulder beyond the normal range of motion causes a shoulder sprain. The most common cause of shoulder sprain is a sports injury. Shoulder sprains are the most common type of shoulder injury.
What are the symptoms of a shoulder sprain?
The most common symptom of a shoulder sprain is shoulder pain that worsens with movement of the shoulder. Additional symptoms of a shoulder sprain may include tenderness and swelling of the shoulder.
How does the doctor treat a shoulder sprain?
Initial treatment for a shoulder sprain may include rest, a sling, cold compresses, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for a severe shoulder sprain may include corticosteroid medication injections or surgery.
Continue to Shoulder Sprain Incidence
- Altchek DW, Levinson M. Shoulder injury in the throwing athlete. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2000 Nov ;11(4):745-54. 
- Moynes DR. Prevention of injury to the shoulder through exercises and therapy. Clin Sports Med. 1983 Jul;2(2):413-22. 
- Wollman S. Patient education series. Sprains and strains. Nursing. 2003 Sep;33(9):47.